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September 20, 2010

Bharti Airtel, IBM partner to provide affordable services to Africa

To scale Bharti Airtel's network and systems to more than 100 million African customers by 2012

By CBR Staff Writer

Bharti Airtel, an India-based telecommunications firm with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, has partnered with IBM to manage its computing technology and services of mobile communications network, which is spread across 16 African countries.

Under this 10-year agreement, IBM will deploy and manage information technology infrastructure and applications to facilitate Bharti Airtel to bring affordable mobile services to remote locations in Africa.

IBM will deploy technologies created by IBM Research, including the Spoken Web – a voice-enabled Internet technology that allows users to access and share information by talking over an existing telephone.

In addition, IBM will consolidate 16 different IT environments across Bharti Airtel’s African operations into an integrated IT system and will oversee the management of all of the applications, data centre operations, servers, storage and desktop services.

IBM will provide customer support applications including: customer relationship management, billing and self-care that will empower customers and assist Bharti Airtel in delivering 2G and 3G mobile services.

IBM is planning to deploy a content management system to offer rich media content such as music and video over mobile devices, while simultaneously facilitating the growth of the application developer community in Africa.

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Further, this partnership will enable Bharti Airtel to scale its network and systems to more than 100 million African customers by 2012, IBM said.

IBM will also build automated internal systems for Bharti Airtel’s business which will result in enhanced efficiency and empowerment for employees through applications that deliver processes and data on a real time basis both on PCs and mobile devices.

In addition, IBM will be responsible for deploying advanced information security systems that will provide privacy protection for customer data and enhance the resilience of enterprise systems against threats.

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