New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) India’s Bharti Airtel, which acquired the African telecom assets of Kuwait’s Zain recently, has committed itself to bringing affordable phone services to Tanzania and becoming a pro-active partner in the country’s growth.
‘We want to be a partner in Tanzania’s growth and will work with the government to take telecom networks deep into small towns and villages to touch the common man,’ Bharti’s global chief executive Manoj Kohli said.
‘Bharti Airtel will achieve affordability for masses through passing on the benefits of infrastructure sharing and lower interconnect rates to its customers,’ Kohli said in a statement from the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam.
The country, little over a quarter of India’s size, is situated in east-central Africa along the Indian Ocean. It has a population of 39.5 million and is home to Africa’s highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro, the famous Serengeti National Park and Lake Victoria.
On his part, Tanzanian Minister for Communication Science and Technology Peter Msolla welcomed Bharti Airtel’s entry into the telecom industry in his country and hoped its investments will help drive the nation’s economy.
‘We welcome Bharti in Tanzania and trust their investments will bring positive changes and hope for rural population. We still have areas that have no mobile communications today and believe Bharti Airtel strategy will focus on them,’ he said.
The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led company said it will also bring global partners to Tanzania to add employment opportunities in the country, apart from becoming a good corporate citizen by setting up schools with free quality education for the underprivileged.
The company also appointed a new managing director for Tanania in Sam Elangalloor, who has over 20 years of professional experience in key areas of telecom business — from sales to products development and operations.
Elangalloor was also the chief executive of Telemedia — one of the Bharti’s strategic business units offering high speed broadband internet – and has driven its its data, retail fixed line broadband and voice operations units.
The other countries in which Bharti has acquired the operations from Zain are Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
According to Bharti, Zain was the market leader in 10 of the 15 countries and second in four others. With the acquisition, the group is now the fifth largest mobile company in the world with over 180 million customers.