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Airtel reiterates commitment to customers in Uganda

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Chancy Namadzunda

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today reiterated its commitment to Uganda and said it will “continue to make investments and offer world-class and affordable services to customers in the country”.

Airtel’s proposed acquisition of Warid Telecom has received approvals from the Uganda Communications Commission. With this, Airtel will further consolidate its position as the second largest mobile operator in Uganda with a combined customer base of over 7.2 million and market share of over 39%.

Warid customers will be able to retain their existing mobile numbers and continue to enjoy benefits such as remaining balances in their SIM and existing services. In addition, Warid customers will benefit from Airtel’s ‘One Network’ across 20 countries and get access to innovative products and roaming benefits on successful completion of integration.

Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar said, “We welcome Warid customers to the Airtel global network and assure them of a world-class experience. This acquisition will create a superior and wider network and we will invest more in key areas such as technological innovation and customer service.

“Further, the existing Warid customer will also be enjoying all Airtel services such as the widest 3G coverage, Blackberry services and superior roaming serviceson successful completion of integration. During this transition, I want to reassure Warid customers of our commitment to providing world-class, affordable services to customers in Uganda. They should also be assured of the security and continuity of Warid Pesa services during this period”.

He added: “After the successful completion of integration, Warid customers will begin to enjoy benefits of the 0ne network with lower roaming rates across Africa and South Asia that other Airtel Customers have been enjoying. It’s a great beginning to a journey with our loyal Uganda customers and for the economy as a whole.”

With presence across 17 African countries, Airtel is the largest telecom service provider across the Continent in terms of geographical reach and had over 62 million customers at the end of quarter ended December 31, 2012. Globally, Airtel is ranked as the 4th largest mobile services provider in terms of customer base.

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers.

In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 271 million customers across its operations at the end of March 2013.

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A piece by Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, to set the scene for the BRICS summit in Durban on 26-27 March

Posted on 26 March 2013 by The African Press Organization

A Win-Win in Infrastructure – The Durban BRICS Summit

DURBAN, South-Africa, March 26, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ A piece by Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (http://www.afdb.org), to set the scene for the BRICS summit in Durban on 26-27 March

***

A Win-Win in Infrastructure – The Durban BRICS Summit

The new world order comes to Durban this week – for the fifth BRICS Summit, and the first in Africa. Dilma Rousseff, Vladimir Putin, Manmohan Singh, Xi Jinping and Jacob Zuma represent a changing world, as gravity and power gradually shift from North to South, and West to East. Between them, they preside over nearly half of the world’s population, and nearly a quarter of its GDP.

As well as Heads of Government, the BRICS business community will also come together in Durban, and all this under the gaze of the world’s media. It is clear that all will pursue themes within themes. In engaging in enlightened shared interest, they will look, too, to their own individual countries’ interest. By coming to Durban, they also draw focus on Africa. In looking at a host of issues – from the world’s hotspots to its backwaters, from green jobs to blue-sky thinking – they will, above all, focus on two: trade and investment.

Donald Kaberuka

The relationship between Africa and the BRICS has grown dramatically, with trade levels increasing ten-fold in ten years, to a value of some US $340 billion a year. And Africa itself is the lynchpin of the trade triangle with Asia and South America. Africa-China trade last year was 20 times what it had been at the turn of the century.

All five of these huge countries and economies had to begin at the beginning, by addressing the infrastructure gap: ensuring the road, rail, ports and energy to power and empower their societies.

The BRICS also bring to the table the experience and the expertise of their development trajectories. They bring knowledge and investment in entering the global supply and value chains – from agribusiness, to IT, to South African companies at work north of the Limpopo.

The BRICS countries are already part of the African infrastructure solution. We see this in everything from Brazilian road and rail investment through Vale in Mozambique, to Indian telecommunications investment through Bharti Airtel in Chad, to Chinese investment through its Railway Engineering Cooperation Group and Sinohydro in road, rail and health infrastructure in the DRC. We could say the same many times over, with different examples in different countries.

The time has come for an idea which was first floated two years ago, and which can take the relationship to the next level: channeling the significant surplus into high return infrastructure projects – a win-win proposition. The priority projects are already identified in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) (http://bit.ly/zBD2bt), and many of them are now at bankable level. In this period of low interest globally, there are investments which are attractive.

Sixty percent of the African Development Bank’s annual loans and grants of US $5 billion are for infrastructure. With a leveraging power of one to six, we are able to mobilize additional resources. But the funding gap for African infrastructure is large, and this is still a drop in the ocean. We know the priorities spelt out in the PIDA, and in the private sector-led Infrastructure Consortium for Africa, which the Bank also manages.

And Africa itself is mobilizing internal resources. In 2013, the Bank plans to launch an African Infrastructure Facility that will combine sovereign and non-sovereign resources – both domestic and international – to invest in carrying Africa over the threshold of its infrastructural and developmental doorway.

Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank.

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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Airtel rolls out mobile HD voice service in Africa

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

Bharti Airtel Limited (http://www.airtel.com) is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 262 million customers across its operations at the end of January 2013.

 

Mobile HD voice offers crystal clear audio quality and will enhance user experience on Airtel mobile networks

NAIROBI, Kenya, March, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/

•    High quality voice services to be available to consumers in Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi and Nigeria

•    Will complement the company’s state-of-the-art high speed data networks and take user experience to the next level

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has announced the launch of the mobile HD voice service for its subscribers in Africa. The development comes as the first step in Airtel’s ambition to make mobile HD voice accessible in all its operations across the continent.

HD voice is the most significant improvement in voice communications in the past two decades. Mobile HD voice offers crystal clear audio quality and will enhance user experience on Airtel mobile networks. “Surveys confirm that customers place a high value on HD Voice”, explains Andre Beyers, the Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa. “The new service will enrich end-user experience for Airtel subscribers”.

Mobile HD Voice enables high-quality voice calls because it reduces background noise often heard on a regular call. Airtel customers on 3G networks will experience a significant improvement in their voice communications as the new service will enable them to hear better in noisy environments.

To enjoy the maximum benefits of this new technology, both the calling and the called party need an HD-Voice compatible mobile phone. However, improvements in call quality are also perceived when using an HD voice-enabled phone to call a non-HD Voice phone.

Mobile HD Voice based on AMR (Adaptive Multi Rate) Wideband technology (W-AMR) operates with nine different bit rates, providing high-quality voice calls. Compared to the current narrowband speech codec, the W-AMR speech-compression algorithm doubles voice bandwidth and produces better results.

After years of trials, HD Voice services were launched in 2009 and they are now available in 35 countries around the world. According to the results of a recent survey, 96% of customers are satisfied with HD Voice calls, hence the rapid pace of commercialization of the services across the globe.

Airtel becomes the third operator to launch a mobile HD voice service in Africa. The telecommunications company aims to make HD voice a reality on the continent. Further launches will be scheduled in 2013.


 

SOURCE

Bharti Airtel Limited

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Microsoft Introduces the 4Afrika Initiative to Help Improve the Continent’s Global Competitiveness

Posted on 05 February 2013 by The African Press Organization

 

Efforts focus on accelerating adoption of smart devices, empowering small and medium businesses, and up-leveling skills development to ignite African innovation for the Continent and for the world

REDMOND, WA, February 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Microsoft Corporation (http://www.microsoft.com) today introduced the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative (http://microsoft4afrika.com/english), a new effort through which the company will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness. By 2016, the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative plans to help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring 1 million African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) online, up-skill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce, and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability, 75 percent of which Microsoft will help place in jobs. (For web-based video content in English, with reporter commentary or without, please click here (http://microsoft4afrika.com/english). French, Arabic and Portuguese video content will be available later today)

“The world has recognized the promise of Africa, and Microsoft wants to invest in that promise. We want to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the Continent, and beyond,” said Fernando de Sousa, General Manager, Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative. “The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world.”

As a first critical step toward increasing the adoption of smart devices, Microsoft and Huawei are introducing the Huawei 4Afrika – a full functionality Windows Phone 8 which will come pre-loaded with select applications designed for Africa. The phone will initially be available in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa later this month.

The Huawei 4Afrika phone, which is the first in what will be a series of smart devices designed “4Afrika,” will be targeted toward university students, developers and first-time smart phone users to ensure they have affordable access to best-in-class technology to enable them to connect, collaborate, and access markets and opportunities online. (See related release (http://www.huaweidevice.com/worldwide/newsIndex.do?method=view&newsId=264&directoryId=5024&pageType=news) and blog (http://blogs.windows.com/windows_phone/b/windowsphone/archive/2013/02/04/huawei-unveils-a-new-windows-phone-for-africa.aspx).

To improve technology access, Microsoft also announced the deployment of a pilot project with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications and Kenyan Internet Service Provider, Indigo Telecom Ltd., to deliver low-cost, high-speed, wireless broadband and create new opportunities for commerce, education, healthcare, and delivery of government services across Kenya. The deployment is called “Mawingu,” which is Kiswahili for cloud. It is the first deployment of solar-powered base stations together with TV white spaces, a technology partially developed by Microsoft Research, to deliver high-speed Internet access to areas currently lacking even basic electricity. Microsoft hopes to implement similar pilots in East and Southern Africa in the coming months to further explore the commercial feasibility of white space technologies. These pilots will be used to encourage other African countries to accelerate legislation that would enable this white spaces technology to deliver on the promise of universal access for the African Continent. (See related release (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Feb13/02-04WhitespacesPR.aspx), blog (http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2013/02/04/bringing-low-cost-off-the-grid-broadband-access-to-rural-kenya.aspx) and video (http://www.microsoft.com/africa/4afrika/white_spaces_project.aspx).

To help empower African SMEs, Microsoft announced a new online hub through which African SMEs will have access to free, relevant products and services from Microsoft and other partners. The hub will aggregate the available services which can help them expand their business locally, find new business opportunities outside their immediate geography, and help increase their overall competitiveness. As a “welcome offer,” Microsoft will provide free domain registration for the period of one year and free tools for qualifying SMEs interested in creating a professional web presence. The hub is expected to open in April initially in South Africa and Morocco and will expand to other African markets over time.

To accelerate capacity building and skills development, Microsoft has established the Afrika Academy, an education platform leveraging both online and offline learning tools, to help Africans develop both technical and business skills for entrepreneurship and improved employability. Training through the Afrika Academy will be made available starting in March at no cost to recent higher education graduates, government leaders, and the Microsoft partner community. One of the first offline training sessions will take place with Microsoft managed partners in Ivory Coast in the coming months, focusing on capacity building in both business and technical skills for our partners in francophone West Africa.

The 4Afrika Initiative will be tightly connected to Microsoft’s network of more than 10,000 existing partners in Africa today, a network it has built over 20 years of investing and operating in the Continent. The 4Afrika Initiative will leverage these existing partnerships and create new ones across both the public and private sectors to help advance common goals and to create value for Africans. Together with our partners, Microsoft has initiated various other efforts in recent months as part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, including:

•    AppFactory (South Africa (https://www.facebook.com/TheAppFactory?fref=ts) and Egypt): Microsoft is hiring 30 paid student interns to staff the AppFactory – centers to which the public can submit requests for Africa-relevant Windows applications (Windows 8 or Windows Phone). These requests are being crowd-sourced for voting, and the most popular ideas are assigned development resources to get the app built and launched into the Windows Store. Already, 73 Windows apps and 39 Windows Phone apps have been built by the AppFactory teams, and at full capacity, the teams plan to contribute around 90 new apps to the Windows Store per month.

•    Nokia and Windows Phone user training (Kenya and Nigeria): Microsoft has established agreements with Safaricom in Kenya and Bharti Airtel in Nigeria to accelerate local adoption of the Nokia Lumia 510 and Nokia Lumia 620 Windows Phones. In these markets, more than 90 percent of phones sold are feature phones, so through these agreements, Microsoft is funding in-store training for consumers who purchase these Nokia Lumia models on how the data plan works and its benefits, to help make these smartphones better understood and therefore more desirable for consumers.

•    Female empowerment portal (North Africa): This portal targeted at North African women will launch in March as an offshoot of the MasrWorks (http://masrworks.com/Intro/Welcome.aspx) IT skills portal. It is designed to empower young women to play a leadership role in their communities, build their skills and self-esteem and introduce new models for self-employment. It will provide IT skills training and also softer skills training on topics including leadership, self-confidence and interviewing, as well as the mentorship needed to build a long-term career in technology. The mentorship will be provided via a sustained engagement between Microsoft, our partners, a local NGO, and the beneficiaries to support them in career building and to plan their role in society as female leaders.

“We believe there has never been a better time to invest in Africa and that access to technology — particularly cloud services and smart devices — can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International. “The launch of Windows 8 and many other new products in the coming months represent a New Era for Microsoft Corporation, which we believe will redefine the technology industry globally. These additional investments under the 4Afrika banner will help define our company’s New Era in Africa.”

Simultaneous launch events to kick off this New Era in Africa are being held today in five locations spanning the Continent: Cairo, Egypt; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; and Johannesburg, South Africa. In all locations except for Egypt, Microsoft is also hosting separate developer workshops in the coming weeks to facilitate and accelerate the development of new and innovative Windows applications for Africa, by Africans.

 

SOURCE

Microsoft Corporation

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Airtel Nigeria appoints Segun Ogunsanya as Chief Executive Officer

Posted on 03 November 2012 by Africa Business

 

Segun Ogunsanya will be responsible for defining and delivering the business strategy and providing overall leadership for Airtel Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria, November, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ Bharti Airtel (http://www.airtel.com), a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced the appointment of Segun Ogunsanya as the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Networks Ltd, Nigeria (“Airtel Nigeria”).

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/airtel.jpg

Mr. Ogunsanya, who will be responsible for defining and delivering the business strategy and providing overall leadership for Airtel Nigeria, will report to Manoj Kohli, CEO (International) and Joint MD, Bharti Airtel. The appointment is effective November 26, 2012.

He takes over from Rajan Swaroop, who has successfully led operations at Airtel Nigeria for the past two years. Rajan will be appointed as Non-Executive Director on the Board of Airtel Nigeria following the completion of the transition process and will continue to work closely with the Airtel Nigeria leadership team.

Dr. Oba Otudeko, Chairman, Airtel Nigeria, said of the appointment: “I am pleased at the appointment of Mr. Ogunsanya as the Chief Executive Officer and look forward to working with him towards making Airtel the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians. It is our resolve to continue building a robust pipeline of local talent in Nigeria as part of Bharti Airtel’s Africa Leadership Initiative. I have been impressed by the outstanding leadership qualities of Mr. Swaroop who has laid a solid foundation, during his tenure, for the long term growth of our business. I wish him success as he moves on in the Group.”

Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Manoj Kohli, said, “I am delighted to have Segun on board and am confident that his rich and diverse experience will add immense value to our operations in Nigeria. Segun’s appointment underlines Bharti Airtel’s commitment to promoting African talent and building a world-class leadership team. I wish him the very best in his new role and would also thank Rajan for his immense contribution to Airtel Nigeria.”

Mr. Ogunsanya brings with him over 24 years of rich industry experience across multiple geographies, organisations and diverse sectors such as Coca Cola, Banking and Arthur Anderson. His last assignment was with The Coca-Cola Company, where he started his career in Finance and gradually transitioned into senior leadership roles with the various bottling operations of The Coca-Cola Company across diverse markets and countries in Africa. In his last stint, as the Managing Director and CEO of Nigerian Bottling Company, he was responsible for over $1bn revenue operations.

A Chartered Accountant, he holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from University of Ife, Nigeria.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Bharti Airtel Limited.

SOURCE

Bharti Airtel Limited

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Bharti Airtel becomes the fourth largest mobile operator in the world

Posted on 21 October 2012 by Africa Business

 

Over 250 million mobile subscribers

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Bharti Airtel (http://www.airtel.com), a leading telecommunications service provider with operations in 20 countries across South Asia and Africa moved up one notch in the world wide ranking to be the fourth largest mobile operator in the world in terms of subscribers. (Source: Wireless Intelligence ‘Scoreboard’).

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/airtel.jpg

Top Five Operators Globally:

Operator: China Mobile

Connections (millions)*: 683.08

YoY Growth, Connections: 11 %

Operator: Vodafone Group

Connections (millions)*: 386.88

YoY Growth, Connections: 5 %

Operator: America Movil Group

Connections (millions)*: 251.83

YoY Growth, Connections: 7 %

Operator: Bharti Airtel

Connections (millions)*: 250.04

YoY Growth, Connections: 13 %

Operator: Telefonica Group

Connections (millions)*: 243.51

YoY Growth, Connections: 7 %

(Source: Wirelessintelligence.com)

(Mobile operator worldwide group global ranking by connections, Q2 2012)

*Connections are aggregated as the sum of each group’s subsidiaries where a minimum of 50 % plus one share economic interest is held.

At the end of the quarter ended June 2012, the Company had over 250 million mobile subscribers across its operations, representing 13% Y-o-Y growth.

Bharti Airtel had become the fifth largest mobile operator in the world following its acquisition of Zain Group’s mobile operations across 15 African nations in June 2010.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Bharti Airtel Limited.

For more details visit

https://wirelessintelligence.com/files/analysis/?file=2012-10-04-the-top-20-global-operator-groups-by-mobile-connections-q2-2012.pdf

About Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel Limited (http://www.airtel.com) is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 5 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 259 million customers across its operations at the end of September 2012. To know more please visit, http://www.airtel.com

SOURCE

Bharti Airtel Limited

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