BHARTI Airtel’s Group Chairman, Sunil Mittal, the new owners of Zain Nigeria has disclosed that new applications; lower tariffs and rural connections would define the entrance of the company into the Nigerian market and Africa in general.
Bharti Airtel, an Indian emerging global telecommunications giant, had last June taken over the African operations of Zain in a $10.7bn deal.
Mittal who spoke at the formal rebranding of Zain Nigeria to Airtel Nigeria said the new owners are in Nigeria “to do things differently from how they have been done”.
He stated that Bharti Airtel have been trying to enter the African market in the last 13 years, adding that “we understand the nuances of the market”.
According to him, “We will take the network into the deepest parts of the country. We will take it to where networks had never been. We will not compromise on quality while doing this. We will do things the way the communities want us to do them”.
Chairman of Airtel Nigeria, Oba Otudeko, said that Airtel would make an initial investment of $2 billion into the Nigerian business in the next few years. Otudeko called on Nigerian to continue depending on the telecom provider assuring that the change from Zain to Airtel would be the last one that the company will witness.
The company began operation in Nigeria in 2001 as Econet Nigeria. It is one of the four telecom companies that won the GSM license auction by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). The company has since its entry into Nigeria witnessed change of name for five times.
SIMEON OGOEGBULEM in Abuja, Nigeria