The New Times (Kigali)

25 October 2012

Africa: Airtel Hits 60 Million Subscribers in Africa

Airtel has hit a 60 million subscriber base in Africa hardly after two years of setting its footprint on the continent, leaving more optimism that more people especially rural areas are set to enjoy cheaper calls.

Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa attributes the increase to growth of mobile commerce service "Airtel Money" in 15 markets, rapid expansion of world class 3.75G high speed data services across 11 markets among others.

The biggest transformation on the continent is in bridging the digital divide and connecting the continent to the rest of the world; this remains Airtel's commitment to the communities that we serve," he said in a statement.

Since the launch of Airtel brand on the continent in 2010, the company has been on steady growth ushering in innovative products that pushed telecom players into adjusting their tariffs making clients enjoy cheaper calls.

"Airtel remains committed to ensuring that it continues to provide innovative and relevant communications solutions to all, which positively impacts as many lives as possible." he adds

The company has embarked on a journey to build the largest 3G network across the continent. To date, the company has rolled out its 3.75G network to 14 countries.

Reaching speeds of up to 21 mbps, Airtel's 3.75G network is one of the fastest available globally and will be immensely beneficial to large Corporates, Small and Medium Businesses and the Youth.

The growth was also boosted by Implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in all markets, especially 30 schools for the underprivileged children and its involvement in largest football tournament in Africa for girls and boys under 17 in collaboration with Manchester United and Arsenal

Moreover, with access to both voice and data services, there is optimism that economies on the continent will register growth considering the urgent need for affordable telecommunications products.

"The ability to communicate with each other is no longer a privilege on this continent, but a necessity," he said

Beyers says that Airtel is committed to the long-term well being of the environment in order to be truly successful and make a positive impact on the community.

"Reaching this goal will be a huge accomplishment for us, and we intend to do whatever it takes to ensure that we completely reduce our dependence on diesel power and instead focus on alternative forms of energy like solar power," he says With the recent launch in Madagascar and Burkina Faso, Airtel Money is now live in 14 countries across Africa.

The service, allows communities to take maximum advantage of the mobile commerce reality sweeping through the industry by enabling them to conduct a range of financial transactions quickly, securely and easily.

Airtel, which recently moved up one notch in global rankings to become the fourth largest mobile operator in the world in terms of subscribers, added 10 million customers across its operations in 17 African countries in less than 12 months of having crossed 50 million subscribers.

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