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Bharti Airtel and IBM Strengthen Their Strategic Relationship Signing an Additional US$150 Million Agreement


* Expand beyond mobile to ’One Airtel’ spanning Broadband, Media (IPTV, DTH) and Enterprise Businesses
* Bring a unified experience to the customer across products -- distribution and prepaid strengthened
* Build network sophistication -- add capability to manage combination of heterogeneous transport and access networks
* Bring in business resilience, continuity and robustness -- disaster recovery fortified
* This agreement is estimated to be US$150 million over a period of six years

Bharti Airtel continues to bring innovative and compelling experiences to its customers. The company is adding capability across various segments to bring to its customers the ’One Airtel’ experience spanning all the three screens of mobile, PC and television.

With a focus on the execution of this strategy, Bharti Airtel has strengthened its existing relationship with IBM (NYSE: IBM). IBM will bring in its global expertise in areas including the telemedia business, distribution, enterprise segments and business resilience. The new agreement is estimated to be US$150 million.

Speaking about the new agreement, Dr. Jai Menon, Director-IT & Innovation, Bharti Airtel, said, “We intend to continue to build upon the success of the principle of utility computing, on which we had structured our partnership with IBM. Our success has been in the countless innovations that we have managed to drive in our business and in doing so, bringing to our customers an unmatched unified experience and great value adds. With a thrust on these new areas, we are leapfrogging to the next level which will empower our customers to make informed choices and provide seamless access to a host of services.”

“Bharti Airtel is continuing its leadership in the Indian telecom market by moving beyond the mobile,” said Ramesh Awtaney, Vice President, Communications Sector, Asia-Pacific, IBM. “By bringing to its customers unified services across the entire spectrum of mobile, broadband and television, the company will lead the next wave of telecom revolution in the country. IBM is proud to be associated with Bharti Airtel as it continues to write telecom history in India. We are geared up to support the growth and expansion of Bharti Airtel and will continue to bring in global best practices and innovative solutions.”

Mobile and beyond: With entry in the telemedia business of DTH and IPTV, Bharti Airtel will now provide the entire spectrum of services to its customers. Through its partnership, IBM will implement IT systems that will enable it to launch differentiated services in these new thrust areas. This will also help in leveraging the current channels of Bharti Airtel to deliver new services.

Consistency and simplicity: By strengthening its distribution and prepaid segment, Bharti Airtel will provide a unified experience to its customers. Its services will now be more easily accessible and will simplify the use of these services. IBM will support this by transforming the current IT platforms, which will enhance customer experience by supporting differentiated customer relationships. This will enable and support channel transformation, which is essential for rural market penetration. IBM will also enhance the delivery of value added products and services to the prepaid segments.

Efficient Networks: To improve customer satisfaction and provide seamless services, IBM will work with Bharti Airtel in areas including LCR (Least Cost Routing), GIS, Auto Discovery, Auto Provisioning and Auto Activation. These applications will help to bring in enhanced efficiencies and cost savings, besides improving service delivery.

Business Resilience: A robust and resilient infrastructure is essential to catapult the company to the next level and the two partners will work to make the IT infrastructure truly world-class. Disaster Recovery set up and IT architecture will be enhanced to provide multi-node redundant systems. Innovative technology and solutions will be used to reduce cycle time and improve responsiveness by implementing the ’quote to care’ IT platform for the Enterprise Service line.

This agreement was signed in December of 2007.

About Bharti Airtel Limited:

Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, is India’s leading integrated telecom services provider with an aggregate of 55.09 million customers as of end of November 2007, consisting of 52.96 million mobile customers. Bharti Airtel has been rated among the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007.

Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units -- Mobile services, Telemedia services and Enterprise services. The mobile business provides mobile & fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23 telecom circles. The Telemedia business provides broadband & telephone services in 94 cities and is foraying into the IPTV and DTH segments. The Enterprise services provide end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national & international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel’s high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 55,000 kms covering all the major cities in the country. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connect two submarine cable systems -- i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe. For more information, visit

About IBM

For more information, visit Note to Editors: Broadcast-quality b-roll and interview clips with IBM senior vice presidents Mike Daniels and Ginni Rometty are available for download by registered journalists at Daniels and Rometty discuss IBM’s growth in emerging markets and in IBM Global Services.


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