In a move that will accelerate the transformation of African mobile communications and positively impact the speed of economic development across the African continent, Bharti Airtel Limited and IBM announced the selection of IBM to manage the computing technology and services that power Bharti Airtel’s mobile communications network spanning 16 African countries. An agreement is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter.
Under a completed agreement, 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. In addition, IBM will deploy advanced technologies created by IBM Research, including the Spoken Web — a voice-enabled Internet technology that allows users to access and share information simply by talking over an existing telephone. This is particularly compelling for populations with little or no literacy, visual impairments, or which lack access to PCs.