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Rediff.com  » Business » Airtel becomes world's third largest mobile operator

Airtel becomes world's third largest mobile operator

Last updated on: June 30, 2015 21:50 IST

Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel has become the world's third largest mobile operator with 303 million subscribers.

With operations in 20 countries, Bharti Airtel, which is present in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Africa, has "become the third largest mobile operator in the world in terms of subscribers", the company said in a statement.

Quoting latest data published by World Cellular Information Service (WCIS), it said Airtel has over 303 million mobile subscribers across its operations and has moved up one position in the global rankings.

China Mobile, according to WCIS, is the top mobile operator in the world with 626.27 million subscribers. Vodafone Group of UK ranks second with 403.08 million subscribers.

China Unicom is ranked fourth with 299.09 million subscribers, followed by America Movil with 274.14 million users.

"Airtel began operations in November 1995 in New Delhi (India) and in less than two decades it has emerged as one of the top brands in the emerging markets with an unmatched scale and diversity of operations," the statement said.

The company said it has pioneered the low-cost business model based on outsourcing that has allowed it to expand its services rapidly and give customers affordable access to mobile telephony.

Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, said: "This is a major landmark in the journey of Airtel and underlines the strength of our business model and our brand that is loved by customers across 20 countries."

Airtel, he said, "seamlessly manage global scale operations in diverse geographies and deliver the same world-class services to each customers, this perhaps is one of our biggest achievements."

Its mobile networks cover over 1.85 billion people across its operations in 20 countries and carried over 1.23 trillion minutes of calls and over 333 petabytes of data in FY 2014-15.

In India, Airtel has one of the largest bouquet of mobile services offerings for customers - including 2G, 3G, 4G, Mobile Commerce and other Value Added Services. Its distribution channel is spread across 1.5 million outlets, with network presence in 5,121 census and 464,045 non-census towns and villages covering approximately 86.8 per cent of the country's population.

In Africa, Bharti Airtel is the largest mobile operator in terms of geographical footprint. It offers 2G, 3G services and Airtel Money across all 17 countries in Africa.

In Bangladesh, it is the fastest growing mobile operator, with a distribution network comprising over 146,000 retailers across the country.

In Sri Lanka, it offers includes voice, data and enterprise solutions.

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