Bharti Airtel, Asia’s leading Integrated Telecom services provider, has announced that it has crossed the 100 million customers mark. This milestone makes the company the 3rd largest single country mobile services operator and sixth largest in-country integrated telecom operator in the world.
“The Indian Telecom sector, seen as providing the most affordable services in the world, has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. We are proud to have led the telecom revolution that made a positive impact on the lives of people in every corner of the country as well as the Indian economy. This remarkable journey to 100 million customers is a testament to the vision and commitment of a company that benchmarks itself with the best in the world”, said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises. “We dedicate this achievement to the nation. This milestone reiterates the emergence of India as one of the world’s top telecom markets and we are delighted to be at the forefront of its growth. On this occasion, we would like to thank all our customers, partners and the Government of India for their constant support.”
The company had crossed the 75 million customer mark in August 2008 and 50 million mark in October 2007, making it one of the fastest growing telcos in the world. The first 25 million was achieved in July 2006.
Bharti Airtel announced a series of network augmentation and customer service initiatives. On the network front, Airtel will roll out 100,000 BTS sites by this year end to set up wider and deeper network coverage across the country. This will improve network quality and resilience; build redundancies and business continuity, to ensure that Airtel customers continue to experience a world-class seamless network for voice and data services. The company is planning to transform its entire fixed line network to IP/Broadband over a phased manner. This transformation will enable Bharti Airtel’s transformation to Next Generation Networks, offering advanced services like High-speed internet, Triple Play, Media-rich VAS, MPLS, VPN for both Retail and Business customers.
On the customer service front, Airtel has started a set of initiatives to empower the customer and currently its Self Service Option over SMS already has over 100 million hits in a month. It is also leveraging cutting-edge technology to build a state of the art Service Management Centre which will dynamically monitor and manage services to ensure that customers are always kept informed proactively.
Around 60% of Airtel’s customer additions come from rural areas. For the rural customers, Airtel has already set up 14,000 Airtel Service Centres and going forward the company is looking at having over 100,000 such centres across the country by March, 2010.