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Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, is India’s leading integrated telecom services provider with an aggregate of 75 million customers. It is incorporated on July 7, 1995. Bharti Airtel has been rated among the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007.

Bharti Airtel is India’s top mobile phone operator.

Corporate Information

Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units - Mobile services, Telemedia services and Enterprise services. The mobile business provides mobile & fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23 telecom circles. The Telemedia business provides broadband & telephone services in 94 cities and is foraying into the IPTV and DTH segments. The Enterprise business provides end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national & international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel’s high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 78,540 kms covering all the major cities in the country. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems – i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe.

Airtel Mobile & Landline telephony services

The envIOWorks platform is powering Airtel’s Hello Tunes Manager, available via a free download to Airtel’s 75-plus million mobile customers.

In March 09, the company withdrew 95 dialing on its fixed line service as per the directive from Department of Telecom (DoT), Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India.

Airtel wireless

Airtel is India’s largest telecom company in terms of the wireless customers base.

Airtel 3G services

Airtel plans to launch the nationwide 3G services in India in the second quarter of 2010.

Airtel 4G services

Airtel has launched 4G trial services for its existing customers in Mumbai. Existing customers are offered a complimentary upgrade to Airtel 4G at 3G prices. The company intends to use the trial phase to gather feedback on the 4G services. Users can walk into any of Airtel’s retail touch-points in Mumbai and upgrade to a 4G SIM. May 16, 2015

Airtel Digital TV

Airtel Digital TV is Airtel’s Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service offered in India. The services are launched in November / December 08. The DTH technology solutions for Airtel is provided by Broadcom Corporation. Its end-to-end IPTV system is powered by UTStarcom’s RollingStream.

During February / March 09, digital TV came up with promotional offer that allows customers to get a digital TV connnection for Rs. 1750 and a chance to bring home AR Rahman, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir apart from a chance to win prizes.

Strategic Business Units

Bharti Aritel has three strategic business units - Mobile services, Telemedia services and Enterprise services. The mobile business offers services in India and Sri Lanka. The Telemedia business provides broadband and telephone services in 95 cities, DTH services and has recently forayed into the IPTV services. The Enterprise business provides end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national and international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel’s high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 90,205 kms covering all the major cities in the country. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe.

Bharti Group has 42% share in Indus Towers.

Management

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing director

Manoj Kohli, President & Chief Executive Officer

Airtel commercials

  • 1995: Launches ‘Airtel’ brand of mobile telephony services starting from Delhi
  • 1997: Bharti Telenet launches mobile telephony services in Himachal Pradesh
  • 1997: Bharti Telecom and British Telecom forms a joint venture Bharti BT that provides VSAT services.
  • 1998: Bharti Telecom and British Telecom forms a joint venture Bharti BT Internet to provide Internet services.
  • January 2009: Featuring Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor for Hellow Tunes commercial

Timeline

Bharti Airtel stock

The stock price of Bharti Airtel was under pressure on March 12, 2009 after reports came out that CEO Manoj Kohli has sold part of his holdings (about 1.23 lakh shares) on March 6 and 9, 2009 for personal reasons. Kohli said he still continues to hold the company shares in the form of vesting and stock options.

Bharti-MTN deal

In 2009, Bharti Airtel was in talks with MTN for a possible merger between the two telecom gaints. If the deal goes through, it becomes the biggest M&A transaction involving an Indian company. The deal will give Bharti access to 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East where ARPUs are relatively higher. Bharti could bring in cost efficiencies into MTN’s operations to boost consolidated profits. The two companies started exclusive talks starting May 2009 and are expected to be completed by the end of September 09. The exclusive talks are extended till August 31 before getting a further extension. In early August 09, business media reported that the company will increase its offer stake by 5 to 10%. Market sources estimated the deal to be closed in October - December 2009 period. In September 09, the South African Financial Minister said the South African Government will give its approval to the deal only if it of their nation’s interest. A Reuters report quoted South Africa’s Labour Federation, Cosatu, is slowly putting pressure on the government not to allow the merger and is against the deal. While the deal talk deadline is extended twice, sources feel the talks will go through into October 09. Reports say that the South African Government that indirectly holds 21% of MTN does not want the merged entity to let loose the ‘South African character’ of the company and is considering allowing a dual listed company (DLC). The deal was called off with Bharti Airtel saying that the South African government is not ready to accept the deal in its current form.

Bharti Airtel - Warid deal

During December 09 / January 10, Bharti Airtel approached the Bangladesh Government authorities for acquisition of Warid. The company got the approval for the same. The deal got finalized on January 12, 2010.

Bharti Airtel - Zain deal

On 14, February 2010 a statement issued exclusively to the Ghana News Agency by Zain Ghana, said “the Board of Directors of Kuwait’s Zain Group, after its meeting on February 14, 2010, issued a resolution to accept a proposal received from Bharti Airtel Limited (Bharti) to enter into exclusive discussions until 25 March 2010, regarding the sale of its African unit, Zain Africa BV.” The offer was for $10.7 billion.

“This potential transaction does not include Zain’s operations in Morocco and Sudan and remains subject to due diligence, customary regulatory approvals and signing of final transaction documentation,” Bharti said. The deal would provide Bharti access to 15 more countries in the region, adding around 40.1 million subscribers to its already 125 million-plus user base. With Bharti already having presence in five overseas markets,after the deal, it would increase its global presence across 20 regions. The combined revenue of the two entities would be around $12 billion.

Recently a shareholder of Zain Nigeria, Broad Communications, secured an injunction against the company from managing its subsidiary in that country because Zain was destroying shareholder value. Experts have said the developments in Nigeria could have implications for the Bharti acquisition.

In mid September 2010, Airtel picked IBM to manage telecommunications-services’s technology operations in 16 African countries.

Bharti Airtel slogans

  • Together good things happen

Hike

Hike is a free voice calling application on Airtel. In January 2015, WhatsApp has launched free voice calling in India directly competing with Hike.

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