IBM Chairman and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano (right) and Bharti Airtel Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal
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In an interview with Daily Monitor over the weekend, Mr V.G Somasekhar, the Airtel Uganda managing director said the partnership further emphasises the telecom’s commitment to providing affordable services to its customers.”

Rural poor
He said: “Airtel will do whatever is possible including partnering with reputable firms in order to make mobile communication more affordable to the rural poor.”

Speaking on the partnership, Mr Manoj Kohli, the Airtel chief executive officer (International) said, the deployment of cutting edge technology will provide a positive multiplier effect to customers and business partners through applications that deliver enhanced services, data and processes in real time.” Mr Bruno Di Leo, the IBM general manager, said: “The agreement fortifies our business partnership and efforts in developing smarter telecommunications networks in remote areas of the world.”

500m subscribers
Africa represents 10 per cent of the telecommunications global market, with more than half a billion mobile subscriptions and a significant potential for more growth. Mr Di Leo said the demand for new services – such as mobile internet access – spurs the need for a developed network of telecom connectivity.

The agreement will necessitate IBM to provide customer support applications that include customer relationship management, billing, and self-service that will empower customers and provide Airtel a policy approach through which it will deliver innovative and convenient 2G and 3G mobile services. The firm will also deploy a media management system to offer content such as music and video over mobile devices.

Source: Daily Monitor