Bharti Airtel bullish on data services growth

Data services division of Bharti Airtel predicts strong growth in Africa

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Bharti Airtel bullish on data services growth Ajay Chitkara, CEO of Bharti Airtel's global data business, expects to see strong growth in Africa and the Middle East.
By  Roger Field Published  January 10, 2011

Bharti Airtel's global data services business expects to see growth of up to 100% in the coming year in the Middle East and Africa as demand for data surges and new cable systems increase capacity, according to Ajay Chitkara, CEO of the telco's global data business.

Chitkara said that Bharti Airtel's global data business had already experienced growth of between 60% and 80% a year in the region in past couple of years.

He attributed the rapid growth to the fact that the company was growing its data business from a small base, and also to infrastructure investments it has made, including submarine cable systems.

Bharti Airtel's global data business has invested some $500 million in infrastructure including subsea cables in the past two years, with some of the projects, including the IMeWe cable, which connects India to the Middle East and Western Europe, only recently going live.

Chitkara added that more assets will become operational in the next 12 months, including the EIG cable connecting India to the UK, and the SJC cable system.

"I personally feel in the next few months we will be looking at Africa in a more aggressive manner because the new cables will be going there," Chitkara said.

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