Telecom giant Bharti, which had acquired Zain Telecom's operations in Africa, today launched its brand "airtel" in 16 countries in the continent replacing the Zain brand.
With the unveiling of the new brand identity "airtel" becomes the master brand for all the group's 19 operations in Asia and Africa covering over 200 million customers.
Earlier, this week, airtel had unveiled the new brand identity in India, where it has about 150 million subscribers.
Sunil Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, airtel, said "airtel began its Africa journey by promising to deliver affordable mobile services...by introducing the ‘airtel’ brand across our operations in Africa, our African customers will now be able to enjoy the same brand experience across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh."
Going forward all future new products and services will follow the Airtel brand structure. The ZAP mobile money service will be re-branded Airtel Money with immediate effect, Mittal added.
As part of the new brand launch, airtel also announced the launch of a new ultra low cost handset package which effectively provides a mobile phone free of charge to all new subscribers.
The package, launched in conjunction with Nokia, will be priced at approx NGN 3,500 (USD 23) and includes a brand new Nokia 1280 mobile phone, a free SIM card and the equivalent value in free airtel talk time and SMS text messages.
In the past four months airtel has already made tariff interventions in 11 of its 16 markets in Africa for the benefit of its customers.
It has also signed agreements to extend its networks to the most remote areas which are still not connected with the outside world.