Bharti Airtel reaches 300m users

Emerging markets specialist operator Bharti Airtel said this week that it has crossed the 300 million customer mark across its operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Its customer base consists of mobile, fixed line & DSL, and DTH users.

Bharti launched operations in 1995 out of India and reached the 100 million customers mark in 2009, topping 200 million in 2012. The company has now added another 100 million customers in less than two years, making it the fourth largest mobile service provider globally in terms of subscribers and the second largest outside of China, where China Mobile holds the crown.

The operator claims to be the largest telecommunications company in India by customers and revenue and also claims to be the largest mobile operator in Africa in terms of geographical footprint, spanning 17 countries with over 70 million customers.

Mr. Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO for India and South Asia at Bharti Airtel said: “This milestone…is also a tribute to the ‘Airtel’ brand which is trusted by customers in 20 countries, making it the largest global consumer brand out of India. Today, telecom is at the cusp of transformation, which, going forward will be driven as much by the force of technology as by the changing demographics in emerging markets across Asia and Africa. Accelerated data consumption by the youth is going to be the underlying story.”

Recently, Bharti has been consolidating its operations, especially in India where it has been looking to save cash by offloading non-core assets.

Earlier this month the company sold its majority stake in local manufacturing and distribution operation Beetel to US-based wireless logistics and distribution firm Brightstar for an undisclosed sum.

The company also divested 3,100 telecom towers across its African markets to Helios Towers Africa. In India, Bharti also signed a definitive agreement to merge operations with that of Loop Mobile and create Mumbai’s largest mobile network as part of a strategic plan unveiled in February of this year under which Bharti proposed to combined operations with Loop in the Mumbai service area.

The 9th annual LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 23rd-25th September 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

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