" ITREALMS: Akunyili says Number Portability’ld expand customers choice

Monday, November 29, 2010

Akunyili says Number Portability’ld expand customers choice

Federal Minister for Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, has said that the expected introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) plan would offer Nigerian telecom consumers a wide choice and better services.

Speaking at the rebranding of Zain to Airtel Nigeria at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Akunyili commended the new owners of Zain Nigeria and some 15 other countries on the continent for the successful launch of their new brand.

The introduction of MNP, she noted, underlines the commitment of the Federal government to ensure that increased competition expands the horizon for excellence in customer service and choice.

She expressed delight of Nigerians with affordable products and services as promised by the Airtel management, saying it would deepen its rural network coverage.

Particularly, Akunyuli noted that Mobile Number Portability would help increase competition among telecoms operators in the country as well as reduce tariff thereby driving affordability.

She pointed out that Airtel has keenly aligned with the government’s desire to introduce Mobile Number Portability, based on the fact that “we have noted with interest your call for Mobile Number Portability, which will ultimately help to increase competition among the operators and result in reduced tariffs. There are a few other initiatives you are pursuing in a bid to lower the tariff paid by customers on your network. Let me assure you that government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will continue to support you and indeed the industry.”

While assuring of the government’s support to the company through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), she beckoned on Airtel Nigeria to create more opportunities to empower more Nigerians to realize their entrepreneurial potentials.

Akunyili emphasized the need for more Nigerians to be given more leadership opportunities and roles in the organization as this would help improve their entrepreneurial skills.

“Nigeria is a big market for your operations, and we have some of the best talents resident within our country as human resources. We want to see more Nigerians rise to top positions in the organization. We want to see more investment in the country. We want you to create more opportunities to empower more Nigerians to realize their entrepreneurial potentials,” said Akunyili.

Earlier, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises, said: "Bharti began its African journey by promising to deliver world-class and affordable mobile services to customers and delighting them with innovative products. I believe we are taking a major step towards delivering on this by introducing the heart of our business - the Airtel brand - across our operations in Africa. Our Nigerian customers will now be able to enjoy the same best-in-class brand experience as our customers across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

He further added: “We remain committed to taking our network deeper into Africa, ensuring our services touch the common man and bridge the digital divide in the continent. I am confident that over the coming years Airtel will win the hearts of customers across Africa and emerge as one of most admired brands of the continent.”

With the unveiling of the new brand identity, Airtel becomes the master brand for all the group’s 19 operations in Asia and Africa covering over 200 million customers. In Nigeria, Airtel replaces the Zain brand and comes with the promise of delivering high quality customer benefits through the power of global Airtel brand.

The new Airtel brand comes with a promise to meet the emerging needs of customers with innovative, affordable and relevant solutions to empower consumers, giving them the freedom to do what they choose and provide them with the tools to meet life’s daily challenges.

The red primary colour of the logo reflects the warmth and vibrancy of the African continent. It is the colour of life and of the African sun at dusk. These qualities are reflected in Airtel’s brand personality of being brave and bold, sensitive and empathetic. The new curved addition to the logo is a symbol which will help ensure instant recognition across our diverse international markets.

Over the next couple of months Airtel will launch a number of world leading product innovations which focus on delivering relevant information for customers to enhance their quality of life and provide tools that will help them overcome their daily challenges.

ITRealms Online notes that Airtel is the new brand name for the 16 Zain operations across Africa which were acquired by Airtel International in June 2010, namely in: Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Airtel International is a Bharti Airtel company.

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