Bharti Airtel, the telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, last week celebrated its 60 millionth customer in Africa. Airtel, recently named the fourth largest mobile operator in the world in terms of subscribers, added 10 million customers across its operations in 17 African countries in less than 12 months of having crossed 50 million subscribers.
"Since launching the Airtel brand in Africa in 2010, Airtel has been on a steady growth path," explains Andre Beyers, chief marketing officer for Airtel Africa. "The ability to communicate with each other is no longer a privilege on this continent, but a necessity. Airtel remains committed to ensuring that it continues to provide innovative and relevant communications solutions to all, which positively impacts as many lives as possible."
Commitment to innovation
Airtel has remained committed to providing customers with telecommunication services that make lives easier. Since celebrating its 50 millionth customer, the company has embarked on a journey to build the largest 3G network across the continent. To date, the company has rolled out its 3.75G network to 14 countries. Reaching speeds of up to 21 mbps, Airtel's 3.75G network is one of the fastest available globally and will be immensely beneficial to large corporates, small and medium businesses and the youth.
"Access to telecommunications plays a crucial role in driving economies within Africa," explains Beyers. "This includes access to both voice and data services. The biggest transformation on the continent is in bridging the digital divide and connecting the continent to the rest of the world; this remains Airtel's commitment to the communities that we serve."
With the recent launch in Madagascar and Burkina Faso, Airtel Money, Airtel's mobile money platform is now live in 14 countries across Africa. The service, allows communities to take maximum advantage of the mobile commerce reality sweeping through the industry by enabling them to conduct a range of financial transactions quickly, securely and easily.
Commitment to the environment
One of its most notable achievements is that the company has placed equal importance on reducing its carbon footprint. As part of its commitment to the environment Airtel has undertaken a series of 'green' initiatives that deliver tangible results. Over the last year, it has reduced the number of sites running solely on diesel by more than 50% through the use of innovative models such as a Hybrid Battery Bank. By 2013, the company aims to completely eradicate the constant use of diesel to power its network. This means no site will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day.
"As a global company we need to ensure that we stay committed to the long-term well being of the environment in order to be truly successful and make a positive impact on the community," continues Beyers. "Reaching this goal will be a huge accomplishment for us, and we intend to do whatever it takes to ensure that we completely reduce our dependence on diesel power and instead focus on alternative forms of energy like solar power."
Commitment to society
Despite the company's growing commercial success, Airtel remains focused on making a positive impact on the communities in which it operates. As part of this initiative, Airtel works with the respective Education Ministries in each country to identify schools in need of refurbishment and educational facilities in order to create a better learning environment for students. To date, the company has adopted 30 schools through its 'Our School' initiative across the continent, with plans to adopt up to 45 schools by April next year.
Earlier this year, the company also kicked off its second season of the Airtel Rising Stars tournament - a football tournament that aims to nurture and develop local talent from a grassroots to a national level. The tournament is supported by world-renowned football clubs, Manchester United and Arsenal.
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