Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel), a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today said that it will invest over Rs 4000 crores in Punjab over the next five years to expand services and contribute to the Government of Punjab’s digital inclusion agenda.
Sunil Bharti Mittal,Chairman and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises said, “Airtel has been at the forefront of Punjab’s telecom growth story and we are delighted to be a partner in Government of Punjab’s vision to build a digitally inclusive State. Just like the mobile phone connected millions across Punjab, this high speed data connectivity initiative will further empower people with information and services available at the touch of a screen.”
In this connection, Airtel and the Government of Punjab today signed an agreement on the sidelines of the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit, under which Airtel will take its high speed 4G LTE services to all towns and villages across Punjab and put the State on the data superhighway.
For record, the Airtel had launched mobile services in Punjab in 2002 and is the largest mobile operator in the State with over 7.2 million customers. Till date, it has invested over Rs 4800 crores in its operations in the State and its mobile network covers all 162 towns and 12,750 villages, reaching to 94% of the population. The Company’s distribution network across Punjab spans 50,000 retailers and its operations provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to over 65,000 people across the State.
As its CSR initiative, Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Group,which has set up 254 Satya Bharti Schools for undeprvileged children in villages across India, operates 90 Satya Bharti Schools in Punjab. These Schools provide free quality education to over 10,000 children along with free books, uniforms and mid-day meals. In addition, Bharti Foundation has set up five Adarsh Senior Secondary Schools on a PPP model with the Government of Punjab, benefiting over 3000 children.