Bharti Airtel – All You Need to Know

Listen to our Podcast: Grow your wealth and keep it secure.

0:00 / 0:00

The sound of a connection – that familiar ring or beep – has often been associated with the name ‘Airtel’ for millions across India. Airtel is more than just a name that flashes across your mobile screen. It’s a name that has become an integral part of daily communication for millions in India. Bharti Airtel has been a vital bridge connecting diverse landscapes and diverse people. This telecom giant has had a far-reaching impact on how India communicates, conducts business, and even consumes content.  

In this blog post, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of Bharti Airtel’s history, its significant milestones, subsidiaries, acquisitions, and its varied products and services.

Also Read: INFOSYS

About Bharti Airtel

FeatureDetails
FounderSunil Bharti Mittal
Industry TypeTelecommunications
Founded In1995
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Key PeopleGopal Vittal (CEO & MD, South Asia)
Parent Company/OwnerBharti Enterprises
Countries Present In18 countries across Asia and Africa

Overview of Bharti Airtel 

From its inception in 1995, Bharti Airtel has redefined the boundaries of the telecommunications space. Today, with a staggering market capitalisation of ₹5.32 trillion, it is one of the most valued companies in the country. As of June 2023, it proudly empowers 67,774 individuals, contributing to their personal and professional growth.

The company’s philosophy is rooted in understanding and fulfilling the needs of its vast customer base. Their commitment is not just in providing seamless connectivity but also in revolutionising the way India communicates, both within and beyond its borders. Airtel’s success is not accidental. It’s the result of strategic planning, an understanding of the Indian market’s pulse, and a relentless drive for innovation. Their extensive network ensures even the remotest parts of the country aren’t left behind in the digital age.

History of Bharti Airtel 

1995: The birth of Bharti Cellular Limited started a new era of mobile communication in India. Operating under the brand name ‘Airtel’, the company introduced mobile services in Delhi, setting the foundation for India’s telecom revolution.

2000: Bharti Airtel took control of Skycell Communications in Chennai.

2002: Airtel became the first telecom operator in India to cross the 2 million mobile subscriber threshold. 

2005: Recognising the increasing data demands, Airtel launched its broadband and telephone services. This year also marked its entry into the rural Indian market, furthering its commitment to connecting every corner of India.

2008: Airtel initiated ‘Airtel Live’, their Value Added Service (VAS), bringing a wide range of services from astrology to stock updates directly to mobile phones.

2010: A landmark year in Airtel’s journey! The brand underwent a transformative identity change, unveiling its new logo and signature tune. Additionally, the introduction of 3G services heralded a new era of mobile internet in India, making high-speed data a reality for millions.

2012: Airtel became the first operator to launch 4G services in Kolkata, India. This was not just an advancement in technology but a fundamental change in how India consumed internet services. The company also ventured into the world of e-commerce with the launch of ‘Airtel Money’, its mobile wallet service.

2015: Committed to keeping its customers ahead, Airtel expanded its 4G services to over 296 towns across India. 

2016: Taking its digital initiatives further, Airtel launched ‘Payments Bank’, making it the first telecom company to venture into banking. This move was in line with the government’s vision of financial inclusion and digitising transactions.

2018: Airtel and Telecom Egypt announced a strategic partnership to offer end-to-end connectivity solutions. This partnership was vital for Airtel’s enterprise customers, offering them a more diversified and robust network.

2019: Recognising the importance of consumer-centric services, Airtel launched ‘Airtel Thanks’, a comprehensive rewards program for its loyal customers. This initiative brought exclusive benefits across a range of services.

2020: During the global pandemic, Airtel effectively managed a significant increase in data usage. They also introduced ‘Airtel Secure’, offering advanced cybersecurity solutions for businesses.

2021: A step into the future! Airtel tested its 5G network in Hyderabad, proving that the next generation of mobile internet is not far away. This trial was a clear sign of Airtel’s readiness for the future and their commitment to leading the next wave of technological transformation.

2022: Airtel teamed up with Hughes for satellite broadband, collaborated with Google to enhance India’s digital growth, acquired a 25% stake in SD-WAN startup Lavelle Networks, and furthered its green initiatives by commissioning a 21 MW Solar Power Unit in Maharashtra.

Also Read: Bharti India Ltd. Q2 Results

Major Subsidiaries of Bharti Airtel

  • Wynk Music: A world of melodies at your disposal. Wynk Music has successfully catered to the diverse musical tastes of Indians. Be it regional hits or international chartbusters, Wynk ensures that every beat is just a click away.
  • Airtel Xstream: Entertainment redefined. Airtel Xstream is not just a platform; it’s an experience. From movies to series to live TV, it offers content that caters to a variety of tastes, all in high definition.
  • Airtel Payments Bank: Moving beyond telecommunications, Airtel has ventured into the banking sector, offering a suite of financial services. Airtel Payments Bank is not just about transactions but also about ensuring financial inclusivity, becoming an integral part of many Indians’ daily financial activities.
  • Tikona Infinet: Acquired by Airtel in 2017, Tikona Infinet is an essential part of Airtel’s broadband services, especially in cities. Tikona’s wide wireless broadband network has become key in enhancing city-based connectivity.
  • Bharti Infratel: The infrastructure arm of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Infratel, plays a key role in the telecommunication industry. It ensures seamless connectivity by providing telecom towers in strategic locations, thereby ensuring Airtel’s network is omnipresent.
  • Airtel DTH Services: Airtel’s Direct-to-Home (DTH) services have revolutionised television viewing in India. With a wide variety of channels and advanced features like recording, pausing live TV, and HD channels, it’s a complete entertainment solution for households.
  • Airtel Business: Catering to the unique needs of businesses, Airtel Business provides bespoke telecommunication solutions for companies. From connectivity to cloud services, Airtel Business ensures that corporations are always connected.
  • Bharti Hexacom: A joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and TCIL (Telecommunications Consultants India Limited), Bharti Hexacom provides mobile and broadband services in Northeast India and Rajasthan. Their commitment ensures that even the farthest reaches of the country remain connected.
  • Airtel X Labs: Airtel X Labs is a centre of technological innovation, shaping the future of connectivity. With a focus on leading technologies like AI and IoT, it represents Airtel’s dedication to driving technological progress.

Also Read: HUL

Major Acquisitions by Bharti Airtel

  • Zain Africa (2010): Airtel’s $10.7 billion acquisition of Zain’s African business was one of its most significant moves. This purchase extended Airtel’s footprint into 15 African countries, making Airtel the world’s fifth-largest mobile operator by subscribers. The takeover covers a variety of operations, from 2G to 4G networks, catering to a broad audience in a continent that was seeing exponential growth in the telecom sector.
  • Telenor India (2018): The acquisition of Telenor’s India operations was a strategic move that consolidated Airtel’s position in the Indian market. With this takeover, Airtel absorbed Telenor’s operations in seven circles: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East and West), and Assam. This move not only enhanced Airtel’s portfolio but also its subscriber base.
  • Tikona Digital (2017): Recognising the growing demand for high-speed broadband services, Airtel acquired Tikona’s 4G business. This acquisition granted Airtel access to Tikona’s broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in five circles: Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East & West), Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh. The move was strategic, ensuring Airtel had the necessary bandwidth to provide top-tier 4G services in these regions, establishing Airtel as a leader in the 4G domain.
  • Warid Telecom Uganda (2013): Airtel in 2013 successfully concluded the acquisition of Warid Telecom in Uganda. This move strengthened Airtel’s place as the second-largest mobile operator in Uganda. The merger enabled seamless services for Warid customers, who could now access Airtel’s extensive product portfolio and its vast Pan-African Network.
  • Qualcomm’s India Broadband Wireless (2013): Airtel fully acquired Wireless Business Services (WBSPL), a venture initiated by the US firm, Qualcomm Inc., for its Indian broadband enterprise. With a 100% stake in WBSPL, Airtel furthered its reach in the 4G spectrum across Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala, and Haryana. Airtel had previously bought a 49% share in the Qualcomm unit in 2012 for $165 million. This acquisition was essential for Airtel’s 4G strategy, allowing them to leverage a comprehensive 4G network across various circles.

Conclusion

Bharti Airtel’s journey from a home-grown brand to a global telecom leader serves as an inspiration for many. With an impressive line-up of products and services, the company is a big name in the Indian telecom industry. Airtel consistently pioneers innovations, be it launching advanced 4G and 5G services or enhancing product quality and customer care, marking industry standards. As we move forward, Airtel’s role in shaping India’s telecom landscape will undoubtedly continue to be significant, as will its impact on simplifying our lives through its various services.

Share this article: 

Read More Blogs

Our Secure Trading Platforms

Level up your stock market experience: Download the Bajaj Broking App for effortless investing and trading

Bajaj Broking App Download

7 Lac+ Users

icon-with-text

4.5+ App Rating

icon-with-text

4 Languages

icon-with-text

₹ 3800 Cr MTF Book

icon-with-text