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Airtel expands African mobile money service

Airtel Africa extends its mobile money offering in Africa

The African subsidiary of Indian operator group Bharti Airtel has extended its mobile money transfer service across the 17 African markets it operates in. Airtel Africa’s subscribers will be able to send and receive money transfers over the operator’s network, which will be connected to a community of mobile network operators, and money transfer organisations, through the HomeSend hub.

We need a $50 tablet says Bharti Airtel chairman

Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel wants US$50 devices for developing markets

Sunil Mittal, chairman and MD of Bharti Airtel said that India and Africa need a $50 tablet in order to spur adoption of mobile technologies. Speaking at a conference session at MWC, Mittal called on the industry to focus on bringing the cost of smartphones and tablets down to those of feature phones.

Bharti rebrands Zain Africa operations

Bharti Airtel has begun the re-branding process across the 16 ex-Zain operations in the region

India-based Bharti Airtel, the new owner of Zain’s African assets has begun the re-branding process across the 16 operations in the region.

Bharti Airtel awards 3G contracts to Ericsson, Huawei, NSN

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has selected Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks to deploy HSPA networks in the 13 regions where Airtel has licenses. Seven telecom regions have been awarded to Ericsson and three each to Huawei and Nokia Siemens. The financial value of the contracts have not been disclosed.

IBM scores IT outsourcing deal from Bharti in Africa

IBM will manage the computing technology and services that power Bharti’s mobile communications networks in Africa

Information technology giant IBM made its presence known in the African telecoms market on Friday, having scored a deal with Bharti Airtel to manage the carrier’s technology and services across 16 countries and around 72 million users.

Orascom, MTN call off acquisition talks

Orascom, MTN call off acquisition talks

Egyptian carrier Orascom, run by billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris, said this week that it has called off discussions with regional powerhouse MTN.

Investing in Africa tip ten: Build a robust distribution model

Build a robust distribution model

Distribution is one of the most important and yet overlooked factors determining success or failure in the African mobile market.

Investing in Africa tip nine: Expect market consolidation

Expect market consolidation and plan for M&A

It is inevitable that the African market will go through a period of consolidation. Governments have distributed new mobile licenses liberally and profited as a result. So too have the consumers in most markets. Competition has led to a greater choice of provider and lower pricing, although not necessarily high quality.

Investing in Africa tip eight: Build a distinct brand

Mobile operators in Africa are fortunate. Unlike in some of the world’s more developed markets, trust and familiarity are associated with many operators. The very fact that in many cases the mobile handset has empowered individuals means that mobile consumers often have a great affinity with the mobile operator brand.

Investing in Africa tip six: Build on potential of WiMAX

Build on potential of WiMAX

Globally the prospects for WiMAX may have dimmed somewhat in the past couple of years, partly as a result of the strong growth of HSPA, which is often seen as a rival to WiMAX, and partly as a result of a lost appetite for network spending. But Africa still offers WiMAX technology a home.

Investing in Africa tip five: Maximise mobile data potential

Maximise mobile data potential

There is substantial opportunity for growth in mobile data services in Africa. Demand for data services is great and the arrival of new undersea cables should remove some of the bottleneck created by Africa’s lack of international connectivity. The fact is that this demand will be met mainly by wireless rather than wireline connections.

Investing in Africa tip four: Create network sharing agreements

Create network sharing agreements

There is some visibility of network sharing in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, but in general, the model in Africa remains limited. Generally an operator-led initiative, most of Africa’s mobile operators remain tight-lipped when it comes to network sharing, unwilling to give away any competitive advantage.

How Bharti will tackle Africa’s challenges

Emerging markets giant Zain has announced the $10.7bn sale of its African operations to Indian carrier Bharti Airtel, in a landmark deal that could transform Africa’s competitive landscape. In this video Informa principal analyst Nick Jotischky discusses Bharti’s first moves in the region.

Bharti books its passage to Africa

Working towards mAfrica

Bharti will be looking to reinvent Zain Africa by introducing the low-cost business model that it has pioneered successfully in India. Bharti will also be hoping to achieve economies of scale across its Asian and African operations, which together will make it the fifth-largest mobile operator in the world. But operating in Africa does present particular challenges, some of which will be new to Bharti, despite its credentials as an emerging-market operator.

Investing in Africa tip three: Focus on operational delivery by outsourcing

Focus on operational delivery by outsourcing

As long as its partner relationships are sound, the operator should be able to focus on what a growing number of providers see as being core to operational success (customer, financial, regulatory and brand management). It is these factors that will drive strategy and ensure that pricing levels are competitive, the distribution model is robust and efficient, and that an operator’s products and service portfolio meets the needs and demands of its customers.

Ericsson wins major deal from India’s Bharti

Ericsson wins major deal from India’s Bharti

Swedish infrastructure and services firm Ericsson is raking in the cash this week, announcing its third major contract in as many days. On Wednesday, the vendor struck a $1.3bn deal with Indian operator Bharti Airtel to expand and upgrade the carrier’s 2G network over the next two years.

Monster Bharti, Zain deal confirmed

Monster Bharti, Zain deal confirmed

We said it was a done deal and it is. On Tuesday afternoon Zain announced the $10.7bn sale of its African operations (excluding Morocco and Sudan) to Indian carrier Bharti Airtel.

Investing in Africa tip one: Be innovative on pricing

Investing in Africa tip one: Be innovative on pricing

The first in our series of tips for potential investors in the African telecoms market. Here Informa Telecoms & Media reveals that operators that employ a lean, efficient business model will be best-placed to run a profitable operation on low tariffs.

Ten tips for investing in Africa

Ten tips for investing in Africa

Touted for so long as the land of opportunity for telecoms investors, Africa is on the brink of a deal that is could transform its competitive landscape. But what does the long expected deal between Bharti Airtel and Zain say about the state of the African market? That Zain does not regard Africa as profitable and that it wants to focus on its more “lucrative” MENA footprint? Or that Airtel sees such potential that it is prepared to spend almost $11bn as a means of entering this land of opportunity?

Bharti’s purchase of Zain Africa a done deal

Bharti’s purchase of Zain Africa a done deal

With a deal between two emerging markets giants thought to be in the closing stages, the acquisition of Zain’s sub Saharan African assets represents a landmark deal for both Bharti Airtel and Zain, and for the African region itself.

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