August 03, 2006 10:49 ET

Bharti Airtel Announces Significant Commitment to Innovation, Works With IBM to Deliver India's First "Next Generation Service Delivery Platform"

NEW DELHI, INDIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 3, 2006 -- Reinforcing its commitment to innovation, Bharti Airtel, India's leading telecom service provider, today announced that it is working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to deliver India's first "Next Generation Service Delivery Platform" (NGSDP). IBM will develop, manage and operate the NGSDP for Bharti Airtel.

This platform will enable Airtel to deliver a suite of unique, innovative products, services and applications to its more than 25 million customers spanning mobile, landline and broadband services. Airtel is investing over USD 100 Million in this world class delivery platform.

The implementation of NGSDP will enable Bharti Airtel to have an integrated environment that will incorporate all of Airtel's content and applications services under one platform. Airtel's customers can now get the benefit of a complete service experience through service personalization, single access point and single sign-on to its mobile, landline as well as broadband services across the country.

Announcing the agreement, Mr. Manoj Kohli, President, Bharti Airtel Ltd., said, "The launch of the Next Generation Service Delivery Platform is yet another first from Airtel and an important component of our innovation strategy for the integrated 'One Airtel.' The platform will be the gateway to next generation content services for our customers and help us consolidate our leadership position."

The NGSDP is a recognized market-leading telecom framework, which is based on open standards and with proven implementations at telecom companies around the world.

The NGSDP will enhance the spectrum of content, application and services and integrate them across all of Bharti's service lines. Customers will enjoy a consistent presentation of services across multiple access channels such as SMS, MMS, WAP, Web and broadband. The content delivered to the customers shall also be more friendly and customized as per the capability of their devices.

The content providers to Bharti Airtel will also benefit significantly with the NGSDP. They will be able to publish content once and distribute that content through multiple channels such as SMS, MMS, WAP, Web, etc. Bulk uploading of content, along with protection of digital content will also be possible now. In addition, the content providers will be able to test new devices and content services prior to launch. An added bonus is that the reconciliation and settlement process will also be automated.

The NGSDP will cover Integrated Portal, Content Management, Digital Rights Management, Messaging Gateway, Transcoding systems, and Parlay gateway.

Mr. Shanker Annaswamy, General Manager, IBM India, said, "Differentiation is key to survival and winning. IBM's technology and services expertise along with our experience of working with Telcos across the globe, allows us to deliver one of the most comprehensive Next Generation Service Delivery Platform for Bharti Airtel. This implementation allows Bharti to offer significantly enhanced spectrum of content and value-added services to its customers, enabling them to continue to maintain their competitive advantage and leadership in the marketplace and deliver an enhanced user experience."

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