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Bharti Airtel crosses 200 mn mark, to launch 3G by year-end

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) Telecom giant Bharti Airtel, which crossed the 200 million-customer-mark Thursday, said it will launch its 3G services by the end of 2010. It also announced it will comply with any decision the government takes on the 2G spectrum allocation.

‘We are on track to launch 3G services by the end of this year…we need good experience on day one,’ Bharti Airtel chairman and managing director Sunil Bharti Mittal told reporters on the sidelines of an event to launch the company’s new brand identity.

The company rebranded itself with a new signature tune composed by music maestro A.R. Rahman and a new logo.

According to Mittal, the new identity is symbolic of the company’s youthful and dynamic global identity that it poses with widespread operations.

‘The industry is going through a massive transformation. The brand now needs to speak to many nations and geographies,’ Mittal said.

‘This new brand identity gives us the opportunity to present a single powerful and unified face to our customers, stakeholders and partners around the world,’ he added.

The new identity of the company will be incorporated in Bangladesh in a month and in a few weeks in Sri Lanka.

Earlier this year, the company won 3G spectrum in 13 out of the 22 telecom circles in a government-led auction. To demonstrate the 3G service, Mittal made the first 3G video call on the Airtel network to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

The telecom giant Thursday also crossed the 200 million-customer-mark, which includes 150 million in the Indian market.

When asked about the 2G spectrum scam, Mittal said: ‘We will subject ourselves to whatever policy decision the government makes… We will comply 100 percent.’

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General has indicted then communications minister A. Raja for irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation, causing the exchequer a loss of Rs.1.76 trillion ($40 billion).

Raja resigned Sunday evening.

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