Bharti Airtel (Airtel), one of India’s premier communications solutions providers, and American tech giant, Google on Friday announced a long-term, multi-year agreement to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem.
As part of this partnership, Google plans to invest $1 billion as part of its Google for India Digitisation Fund. The deal includes an investment of $700 million to acquire 1.28 percent ownership in Airtel and up to $300 million towards implementing commercial agreements.
These commercial agreements will include investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings that cover a range of Android-enabled devices to customers via innovative affordability programs and other offerings aimed at accelerating access and digital inclusion across India’s digital ecosystem, the company said in a statement.
Google and Airtel will also continue to build on their existing partnerships to potentially co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards and accelerate the cloud ecosystem for businesses across India, the company added.
Both the companies will also potentially co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards, with cutting-edge implementations. Airtel is already utilizing Google’s 5G-ready evolved packet core and software-defined network platforms.
The telco major also plans to explore the scaling up of deployment of Google’s network virtualization solutions to deliver a superior network experience to their customers.
Commenting on the partnership, CEO of Google and Alphabet Sundar Pichai said, “Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is a continuation of our Google for India Digitisation Fund’s efforts to increase access to smartphones, enhance connectivity to support new business models, and help companies on their digital transformation journey.”
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.”