Bharti Airtel Expanding into the African Market

Bharti Airtel is set to acquire Congo telecom giant Warid group in an effort to increase their market presence in Africa. The definitive agreement will seal Bharti Airtel’s position in the Republic of Congo as the telecom operator of choice for over 2.6 million clients. The details of the agreement were released in a press statement by the company.

Airtel’s foray into the South African market

Bharti Airtel, a company with strong roots in the Indian sub-continent has grown in operations over the years. The company currently has network bases in over 20 countries. The company is all set to have over 280 million customers by the end of the month of September in 2013. The company is an excellent example of expanding slowly but steadily into markets well beyond the birth place. The company ranks globally amidst the top 4 companies providing mobile services to clients.

The company offers various services in the Indian sub-continent like, 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless services, apart from fixed line services, mobile commerce, IPTV, DTH, high speed DSL broadband, enterprise services and long distance services to national and international destinations. The company has headquarters in New Delhi, India.

Even prior to the deal with Warid group, Airtel was a formidable telecom operator in the Republic of Congo. The company had over 1.6 million customers in the area of Congo alone. The deal with Warid bought their 1 million customers into the Airtel fold increasing their customer base substantially.

The statement said, “… it has entered into a definitive agreement with the Warid Group to fully acquire Warid Congo SA. The agreement is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals.”

As with numerous business deals across the globe, the financial details of this one were not made public. The details speculated about are just public speculations liberally sprinkled with rumors from industry insiders.

This is not the first deal between Warid and Bharti Airtel, the company had acquired its operations in Uganda in a deal inked earlier this year. Manoj Kohli, CEO and MD of Bharti Airtel spoke of the deal when he said, “This acquisition is in line with our stated strategy of strengthening our market position through in-country acquisitions, as and when suitable opportunities come along.”

As stated by the CEO himself, the company is looking to expand and strengthen their global presence.

Telecom customers set to benefit from the deal

Sriram Yarlagadda, Congo Brazzaville Board Member with Warid was quoted as saying, “This agreement creates a win-win situation for the customers and provides them with an opportunity to be a part of one of the largest mobile services providers in the world.”

The deal will bring the strengths of both the participating companies together in a beneficial pact for the customer. The tariffs, including data and voice services across the 2G and 3G networks are all set to get more affordable in the Congo area.

The deal will create a bigger customer base under the umbrella “One Airtel”. The new network will bring affordable roaming rates in the African and South Asian area. The cheaper roaming rates can be attributed to the fact that Airtel has reliable networks already laid out in areas like Uganda and India.

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