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Airtel Partners with World-Class Telecoms Infrastructure Suppliers

Airtel Partners with World-Class Telecoms Infrastructure Suppliers

Airtel is pumping 25 million dollars to expand its operations in Sierra Leone and has also planned to bring its ecosystem of global partners to the country which could result in additional employment opportunities.  (Photo: Manoj Kohli, the Airtel CEO (international) and joint MD)

Airtel partnered with world class telecommunications infrastructure suppliers such as Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson, Huawei among others to extend its network to rural areas which are at present disconnected from the world and ensure that Airtel has the best quality network in Sierra Leone to further consolidate its lead.

Portrayed as the world’s first virtual card that operates off a wallet residing on a mobile phone, the Airtel 1time Shopping Card will offer communities the opportunity for greater participation in financial systems as they realize the substantial benefits of mobile commerce, according to the companies.

Airtel Africa, Standard Chartered Bank and MasterCard have entered an arrangement that will enable mobile-phone users to make online purchases from merchants around the world.

“This launch of the world’s first virtual number on a mobile card marks a big milestone in mobile commerce,” Manoj Kohli, the Airtel chief executive officer (international) and joint managing director, said.

“The Airtel 1time Shopping Card will offer consumers a robust e-commerce solution that delivers security, accessibility, acceptance, ability and global reach. Subsequent phases of the program will allow Airtel subscribers to make payments across the MasterCard network.”

Kohli said the single-use shopping card will soon be available in Kenya and rolled out to markets across Africa, subject to regulatory approvals.

Each time an Airtel customer is shopping online he or she will be able to request a single-use shopping card number. Airtel money services will generate a special 16-digit number that enables the completion of a transaction. On completion of the transaction, a confirmation message will be sent to the consumer’s handset.

Whether located in urban or rural communities, people will be able to participate in commerce from their hometown to anywhere in the world.

The opportunity for mobile payments, Kohli said, is especially significant in Africa, where there are close to 400 million mobile-phone users and a population of 230 million households that do not have bank accounts. By 2014, Africa is expected to see 56 percent mobile penetration.

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