IBM To Manage Bharti Airtel's ICT


Bharti Airtel Limited and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have announced the selection of IBM to manage  the computing technology and services that power Bharti Airtel’s mobile communications  network spanning 16 African countries. An agreement is expected to be finalized in the  fourth quarter.

Under a completed agreement, IBM will deploy and manage state-of-the-art information  technology infrastructure and applications to support Bharti Airtel’s goal of bringing  affordable and innovative mobile services to remote locations in Africa.

In addition, IBM will deploy advanced technologies created by IBM Research, including the  Spoken Web — a voice-enabled Internet technology that allows users to access and share  information simply by talking over an existing telephone. This is particularly compelling  for populations with little or no literacy, visual impairments, or which lack access to  PCs.

When completed, the agreement will extend a deep relationship between IBM and Bharti  Airtel that was established in 2004 when South Asia’s leading mobile communications  provider tapped IBM to run the IT and applications for its entire Indian network.

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According to a Deloitte report commissioned by the mobile communications industry  association GSMA, only 40 out of every 100 Africans have a mobile phone. However, demand  is growing at an average rate of 25 per cent annually, and a 10 per cent rise in mobile  penetration could increase gross domestic product by 1.2 per cent in developing markets.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel, said: “There are huge  opportunities throughout Africa to transform how people communicate and how communities  interact. Delivering on that opportunity through affordable mobile communications for  everyone is our focus.

Bharti Airtel has operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic  Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles,  Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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