New Delhi, March 18 :
Seven mobile operator groups, serving 506 million customers across Africa and the Middle East, plan to share their network infrastructure to provide Internet and mobile broadband access to unserved rural communities, a statement by telecom body GSM Association (GSMA) said here Tuesday.
“We are greatly encouraged by the shared vision of mobile operators and the common urgency to find solutions that will drive down the cost of mobile and Internet services and help connect the unconnected,” said GSMA director general Anne Bouverot.
The seven telecom operators are – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Group, MTN Group, Zain Group, Orange, Etisalat Group and Ooredoo Group.
These operators collectively manage 76 mobile network operations across 47 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where many of the unconnected population live in rural areas.
“This cooperation demonstrates that the industry is committed to innovating in order to serve the billions living in the rural areas,” said Bharti Enterprises managing director Manoj Kohli, who is the chair of the GSMA board’s Public Policy Committee.