Google has said it will invest a total of $1 billion in Indian telecom operator Airtel India as part of a $10 billion commitment to the country.
The new funding which will be in 2 tranches will see the first $700 million channelled to the acquisition of 1.28% stake in Airtel while the remaining $300 million will be used to explore multi-year commercial agreements with the telco.
The development will expectedly see the two firms work to expand Airtel’s offerings to cover a wide-range of Android-enabled devices to consumers’ innovative affordability programs.
What they are saying about the investment
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and Alphabet, while speaking on the deal said, “Airtel is a leading pioneer shaping India’s digital future, and we are proud to partner on a shared vision for expanding connectivity and ensuring equitable access to the Internet for more Indians.
“Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is a continuation of our Google for India Digitization Fund’s efforts to increase access to smartphones, enhance connectivity to support new business models, and help companies on their digital transformation journey.”
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, in a statement, “Airtel and Google share the vision to grow India’s digital dividend through innovative products. With our future ready network, digital platforms, last mile distribution and payments ecosystem, we look forward to working closely with Google to increase the depth and breadth of India’s digital ecosystem.”
Airtel, the second largest telecom operator in India has over 300 million subscribers and over 600 million internet users.
Nairametrics reported that Airtel Africa recently became the most capitalized company listed on the Nigerian stock exchange, surpassing Dangote Cement, the cement producing giant owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.