Airtel to invest Rs 400 Cr in Karnataka
Bangalore: Airtel, a leading mobile services provider in the country, would invest Rs 400 crores during the year 2005-06 as part of its expansion plan in Karnataka, Company Executive Director (Southern Region-Mobility) Atul Bindal said today.
Talking to newsmen here, he said that with 1.5 million customers in the state, Karnataka was the second largest Circle in Bharti Televentures’ network which is playing a pioneering role in increasing mobile penetration in the country.
Mr Bindal said that with the projected expansion plan, the company by end of the year planning to reach out to approximately 45 per cent of the population in the state with a robust network that will span about 730 towns. It was intended to set up 600 additional cell sites across the state taking the total number to 1800 to ensure better reach than competitors.
The idea was to expand mobile network in rural areas and drive segmented applications and value added services in urban and semi urban markets, he said and added that the Company see lot of potential for development in Northern Districts like Gulbarga and Hubli.
Bharati Televentures COO Deepak Mehrotra said that the Company has adopted a three prong strategy–innovation, quality and outsourcing, to achieve its planned development. Bharati has recently signed agreements to outsource its call center operations to some of the best international BPOs. The agreement with Hinduja TMT, IBM Daksh, Mphasis and TeleTech services would enhance quality of customer service delivery to its customers across the country, he added.
Mr Mehrotra said that Airtel has moved towards setting up of a Future Factory in Bangalore fully dedicated to explore innovation and development of path-breaking applications for mobile customers across the country. Customers in cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai were looking towards mobile commerce and the Future Factory here would take up development of drive applications that use mobile phone as a payment instrument for ticketing, money transfer and other commerce transactions.
He said under rural programme the company would focus on developing applications to make mobile telephone more relevant to the segment.