Bharti selects IBM to manage IT for African operations

Bharti selects IBM to manage IT for African operations

New Delhi: Telecom major Bharti Airtel today said it has selected global technology giant IBM to manage computing technology and services for its African business.

The company has selected IBM to manage the computing technology and services that power Bharti Airtel’s mobile communications network spanning 16 African countries, Bharti said in a statement.

The strategic partnership will enable the telecom operator to scale up its network and systems to cater to more than 100 million African customers by 2012, it added.

“There are huge opportunities throughout Africa to transform how people communicate and how communities interact. Delivering on that opportunity through affordable mobile communications for everyone is our focus," Bharti Airtel chairman and MD Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

Under the 10-year planned agreement, IBM will consolidate 16 different IT environments across Bharti Airtel’s African operations into an integrated IT system and will oversee the management of all of the applications, data centre operations, servers, storage and desktop services.

An agreement is expected to be finalised in the fourth quarter. However, the company did not disclosed the deal size.

IBM is already handling the IT operations of Bharti Airtel in India.

“We are delighted to extend our successful relationship with IBM in South Asia to Africa. This transformational business delivery model, which will be a first in Africa’s telecom industry, will bring enhanced efficiencies to our operations and help us deliver world-class mobile services to our customers," Mittal added.

IBM will deploy and manage information technology infrastructure and applications to support Bharti Airtel’s goal of bringing affordable and innovative mobile services to remote locations in Africa.