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Bharti Airtel subscriber base crosses 10-crore

Special Correspondent

To roll-out one-lakh base station sites by year-end

— PHOTO: ANU PUSHKARNA

MILESTONE: Sunil Bharti Mittal (left), Chairman and CEO, Bharti Enterprises with partners and board members in New Delhi on Friday.

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel on Friday said it has become the first service provider to cross 10-crore subscribe base. Making this announcement here, Bharti Enterprises Chairman and Group CEO Sunil Mittal asked the government to announce a stable spectrum regime to boost growth of the telecom sector.

With 10-crore subscribers, Airtel has become the third largest single country mobile services operator in the world and sixth largest integrated telecom company globally. After having started its service in 1995 as Bharti Tele-Ventures, the company crossed the 7.5-crore customer mark in August 2008 and 5-crore mark in October 2007, making it one of the fastest growing telecom company in the world. The first 2.5-crore subscribers were achieved in July 2006.

“The Indian telecom sector, seen as providing the most affordable services in the world, has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. We are proud to have led the telecom revolution that made a positive impact on the lives of people in every corner of the country as well as the Indian economy,” Mr. Mittal added.

Targeting 20-crore subscribers in the next 2-3 years, Airtel will be undertaking a series of network augmentation and customer service initiatives. “We will roll-out over one-lakh base station sites by this year-end to set up wider and deeper network coverage across the country and establish a state-of-the-art customer service management centre, besides setting up one-lakh Airtel service centres in rural areas by March 2010,” he said.

Airtel at present has 25 per cent subscriber share and 30 per cent market share in terms of revenue. It is only behind two Chinese operators in terms of subscriber size measured within a country.

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