Airter brass meet Malawi leader, to invest $25m for 3G network

Bharti Airtel said Friday it will invest $25 million in Malawi to develop a 3G network and introduce a mobile commerce service, Airtel Money.

This was disclosed by Manoj Kohli chief executive officer (international) and joint managing director, Bharti Airtel, after meeting Malawi President Joyce Banda in Lilongwe.

“Our investment of $25 million in the development of the 3G network and introduction of Airtel Money are a clear demonstration of our commitment to deepen our network and bridge the digital divide,” Kohli said.

Airtel top brass in audience with President Banda

“Our objective is to provide our customers with innovative mobile services that will help fuel the economic and social development of Malawi,” he added.

Airtel Money allows consumers to send and receive money, directly pay their utility bills, provide access to their bank accounts and even top up their phones with airtime.

According to the firm, the service will benefit the rural communities of Malawi as has been proven in neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Kohli also said that by the end of the current financial year the company will make green energy investment of $10 million in the country.

The company believes that the move to build a Green network will address short term issues such as cutting back the reliance on fuel, ensuring uninterrupted network upgrades and the medium to long term issues such as managing operational costs and conservation of the Environment.

The planned upgrade of Airtel’s High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 3G network in Malawi will contribute towards meeting the growing demand for high speed internet and wireless entertainment for large Corporates, SMEs and the Youth.

“Airtel Malawi is backed by a professional team to support the drive. Airtel’s commitment to be one of the leading global telecommunications companies is underpinned by the development of local talent at all levels. To this end, Airtel’s leadership program has seen 4 talented Malawians take up senior positions overseas to develop their professional skills within the organization,” Kohli further added.

Airtel in Malawi is headed by Malawian Saulos Chilima who showcased the acquisition of permanent office facilities in Blantyre and Limbe as an indication of its long term commitment in Malawi.

He also disclosed that Airtel Malawi has successfully negotiated for new office space in Lilongwe.

Airtel officials presenting a gift to President Banda

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