Mumbai: India's top cellular telephony operator Bharti Airtel (formerly Bharti Tele-Ventures) has extended its association with IT major IBM with a $100 million deal to deliver a suit of new service products and applications under a single platform.
Bharti, already has a $759 million contract signed with IBM in 2004 - an outsourcing deal under which IBM operates Bharti's information-technology services, including billing and customer-management software, internal e-mail systems and the company's intranet.
"Bharti has partnered with IBM to deliver India's first service delivery platform to enable it to deliver a suit of new range of services to its over 25 million customers," Bharti Airtel president Manoj Kohli said.
The SDP would enable Bharti to incorporate all of Airtel's content and application services under one platform. "The platform will be the gateway to next generation content services for our customers and help us consolidate our leadership position", Kohli said.
"The implementation will allow Bharti to offer enhanced spectrum of content and value-added services to its customers, enabling them to continue to maintain their competitive advantage and leadership in marketplace," said IBM Asia Pacific global technology services general manager Satish Khatu.
Established in 1976, Bharti-Airtel provides a range of telecom services, which include cellular, basic, internet and national long distance. Bharti also manufactures and exports telephone terminals and cordless phones. Apart from being the largest manufacturer of telephone instruments in India, it is also the first company to export its products to the USA.
A Bharti Enterprises company, 30.84 per cent in Bharti Airtel is owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and Vodafone Group PLC owns a ten per cent stake.
Bharti-Airtel had 24.58 million customers at the end of June 2006, including over 23 million mobile phone users, with fixed-line and broadband customers making up the remainder.