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Airtel partners with Google to enable affordable smartphone in Indian digital ecosystem

Bharti Airtel and Google have partnered by signing a multi-year agreement to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem and enable affordable smartphone culture back to the nation.

Saumya Nigam Reported by: Saumya Nigam
Noida Updated on: January 28, 2022 14:12 IST
Airtel, Google, collaboration, partnership, smartphone
Image Source : WEBSITE: AIRTEL AND GOOGLE

Airtel- Google

Highlights

  • The partnership will focus on enabling affordable smartphones across the price ranges
  • Deal includes an investment of 700 million USD to acquire 1.28%* ownership in Airtel
  • Google to invest upto $1Billion for its Google for India Digitalization Fund
Bharti Airtel and Google announced their partnership on a long-term, multi-year agreement to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. Together, they will work to bring best-in-class end-to-end products to serve customer needs, provide quality customer experience, and bring their expertise to solve problems of affordability, access, and digital inclusion.
As part of this partnership, Google intends to invest up to 1 billion USD, as a part of its Google for India Digitization Fund, which further includes equity investment as well as a corpus for potential commercial agreements, to be identified and agreed on mutually agreeable terms over the course of the next five years. 
 
This will comprise:
 
● A 700 million USD equity investment in Bharti Airtel at a price per share of INR 734.
● Up to 300 million USD that will go towards implementing commercial agreements, which will include investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings that cover a range of devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs, along with other offerings which aim at accelerating access and digital inclusion across the digital ecosystem of the country.
The deal will be subjected to necessary regulatory approvals by the government.
 
As a part of its first commercial agreement, Airtel and Google will work together to build on Airtel’s extensive offerings that covers a range of Android-enabled devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs. Together, the companies will continue to explore further opportunities to bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone across a range of price points, in partnership with various device manufacturers.
 
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel said, “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.” 
 
He further added, “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,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “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.”
 
Both- Airtel and Google are committed to working for building an open technology ecosystem that could serve businesses and customers with innovative digital services. Both the companies have jointly agreed to explore and invest across a wide spectrum of areas for creating digital solutions that uniquely serve India’s requirements. 
 
Airtel is already using Google’s 5G-ready Evolved Packet Core and Software Defined Network platforms. The company has now planned to explore scaling up the deployment of Google’s network virtualization solutions to deliver a superior network experience to their customers.