Airtel Africa

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Airtel Africa
Type Public company
Parent Airtel

Airtel Africa is a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Airtel, that operates in 17 countries across Africa. It operates a GSM network in all countries, providing 2G or 3G depending upon the country of operation.

Countries of operations in Africa[edit]

Airtel operates in the following countries in Africa:

Country Site Remarks
 Burkina Faso Airtel Burkina Faso Airtel Burkina Faso is the dominant player with 1,433,000 customers representing 50% market share.[1]
 Chad Airtel Chad Airtel Chad is the #1 operator with 69% market share.[1]
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Airtel DRC Airtel is the market leader with almost 7 million customers at the end of June 2012.
 Gabon Airtel Gabon Airtel Gabon has 829,000 customers and its market share stood at 61%.[2]
 Ghana Airtel Ghana Airtel Ghana had about 1.76 million customers at the end of 2010.[3]
 Kenya Airtel Kenya Airtel Kenya is the second largest operator and has 4 million customers.[4]
 Madagascar Airtel Madagascar Airtel holds second place in the mobile telecom market in Madagascar, has a 39% market share and over 1.4 million customers.[1]
 Malawi Airtel Malawi Airtel Malawi is the market leader with a market share of 72%.[1]
 Niger Airtel Niger Airtel Niger is the market leader with a 68% market share.[1]
 Nigeria Airtel Nigeria Airtel Nigera holds second place with a 20% market share having 25 million customer base as of March 2014.[1]
 Republic of the Congo Airtel Congo B Airtel Congo is the market leader with a 55% market share.[1]
 Rwanda Airtel Rwanda Airtel launched services in Rwanda on 30 March 2012.[5]
 Seychelles Airtel Seychelles Airtel is the leading comprehensive telecommunications services providers with over 55% market share of mobile market in Seychelles.[6]
 Sierra Leone Airtel Sierra Leone
 Tanzania Airtel Tanzania Airtel Tanzania is the market leader with a 38% market share.[1]
 Uganda Airtel Uganda Airtel Uganda stands as the #2 operator with a market share of 38%.[1]
 Zambia Airtel Zambia


Airtel Tanzania HQ

On 18 November 2010, Airtel rebranded itself in India in the first phase of a global rebranding strategy. The company unveiled a new logo with 'airtel' written in lower case. Designed by London-based brand agency, The Brand Union, the new logo is the letter 'a' in lowercase, with 'airtel' written in lowercase under the logo.[7]

On 23 November 2010, Airtel's Africa operations were rebranded to 'airtel'. Sri Lanka followed on 28 November 2010 and on 20 December 2010, Warid Telecom rebranded to 'airtel' in Bangladesh.

Acquisitions in Africa by Airtel[edit]


Airtel acquired the Uganda business of Warid in 2013.[8]


In March 2010, Bharti struck a deal to buy the Kuwaiti firm's mobile operations in 15 African countries, in India's second biggest overseas acquisition after Tata Steel's $13 billion buy of Corus in 2007. Bharti Airtel completed its $9 billion acquisition of African operations from Kuwait's Zain, making the firm the world's No. 5 wireless carrier by subscribers. Airtel has reported that its revenues for the fourth quarter of 2010 grew by 53% to US$3.2 billion compared to the previous year, newly acquired Zain Africa division contributed US$911 million to the total. However, net profits dropped by 41% from US$470 million last year to US$291 million this year due to a US$188 million increase in radio spectrum charges in India and an increase of US$106 million in debt interest.[9]

Telecom Seychelles[edit]

On August 11, 2010, Bharti Airtel announced that it would acquire 100% stake in Telecom Seychelles for US$62 million taking its global presence to 19 countries. Telecom Seychelles began operations in 1998 and operates 3G, Fixed Line, ship to shore services satellite telephony, among value added services like VSAT and Gateways for International Traffic across the Seychelles under the Airtel brand. The company has over 57% share of the mobile market of Seychelles.[10] Airtel announced plans to invest US$10 million in its fixed and mobile telecoms network in the Seychelles over three years, whilst also participating in the Seychelles East Africa submarine cable (SEAS) project. The US$34 million SEAS project is aimed at improving the Seychelles’ global connectivity by building a 2,000 km undersea high-speed link to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.[11]

One Network[edit]

One Network is a borderless mobile phone network across all Airtel operating countries which enables customers to move freely between the countries in which Airtel operates, and be treated as “virtual” local customers of the visited network in terms of pricing, while retaining their home network service functionality.

One Network allows customers travelling to One Network countries to make outgoing calls/SMS at the same rates as local customers and recharge with local top-up cards or with home network top up cards while using the same number and SIM. Incoming calls however are charged at between $0.03 - 0.15 depending on the country the call is received from.

Airtel offers the service currently to its Africa customers travelling to any of the following 27 countries. In eight of these countries, the One Network is operated in partnership with other mobile operators. They are also listed below.

S. No. Country Operator
1 Burkina Faso Airtel
2 Bangladesh Airtel
3 Chad Airtel
4 Channels Islands: Jersey and Guernsey Airtel
5 Democratic Republic of the Congo Airtel
6 Gabon Airtel
7 Ghana Airtel
8 India Airtel
9 Kenya Airtel
10 Madagascar Airtel
11 Malawi Airtel
12 Niger Airtel
13 Nigeria Airtel
14 Republic of the Congo Airtel
15 Sierra Leone Airtel
16 Seychelles Airtel
17 Sri Lanka Airtel
18 Tanzania Airtel
19 Uganda Airtel
20 Bahrain Zain
21 Iraq Zain
22 Jordan Zain
23 Kuwait Zain
24 Saudi Arabia Zain
25 Sudan Zain
26 South Africa Cell C
27 Egypt Mobinil

It will be extended to Airtel's operations in Asia as well as in Seychelles soon.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "". 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Airtel Kenya grows subscriber base to four million; 3G network to launch in March". 2011-01-14. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  5. ^ "Airtel launches mobile services in Rwanda". The Times Of India. 30 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "About us | Airtel (Seychelles) – Mobile Phones, Mobile Internet, Broadband, Email, Blackberry & Roaming". 1997-10-24. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  7. ^ "Airtel dons a new look, plans to be closer to consumers across the globe > afaqs! news & features". 2010-11-19. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  8. ^ "Uganda regulator clears Airtel’s Warid Telecom acquisition". Mint. 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Bharti inks agreement for Zain’s African subsidiaries". TeleGeography. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  10. ^ "Bharti Airtel to buy Telecom Seychelles for Rs 288 crore". Economic Times. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  11. ^