Airtel and Google have entered into a long-term agreement to help accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem while keeping the future in mind. Google plans to invest up to $1 billion in Airtel through its Google for India Digitalization Fund as part of this partnership. Equity investments as well as funds for potential commercial agreements are included in these investments. This fund will be used to identify areas for digitization of the country over the next five years that have been mutually agreed upon.
This investment includes a $700 million equity investment in Google Swar Bharti Airtel at INR 734 per share. Up to $300 million will be used to put commercial agreements in place. Airtel’s products and services will be expanded as a result of these investments. In India’s digital ecosystem, it also includes innovation programmes aimed at increasing access and accelerating digital usage. In addition, a variety of services and tools will be created.
“Airtel and Google share a common vision to grow India’s digital dividend through innovative products,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel. We look forward to collaborating with Google to expand India’s digital ecosystem with our future-ready network, digital platform, delivery, and digital payment system.”
Both Airtel and Google have agreed to invest and collaborate in a wide range of areas in order to develop digital solutions that are specifically tailored to India’s needs. As part of this commercial agreement, Airtel and Google will collaborate to bring the best of Google-Airtel services and offers to consumers, including innovative affordability programmes that provide consumers with a variety of Android-enabled tools. At the same time, in collaboration with various device makers, both companies will continue to identify more opportunities to lower consumer barriers to a single smartphone across price points. Both companies will work to shape and develop India’s cloud ecosystem in order to accelerate the country’s digital transformation. With its enterprise connectivity offering, Airtel serves over one million small and medium businesses, and this partnership will help them accelerate their digital transformation.
The two companies may address India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards with state-of-the-art implementations as part of the partnership’s larger strategic goals. Airtel already uses Google’s 5G-ready Evolved Packet Core and Software Defined Network platform, and it plans to expand the availability of Google’s network virtualization solutions to give its customers a better network experience.
“Airtel is a leader in shaping India’s digital future, and we are proud to partner on a shared vision to expand connectivity and ensure equal access to the Internet for more Indians,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is an extension of our Google Digitization Fund’s efforts to expand smartphone access, improve connectivity to support new business models, and assist companies in their digital transformation,” he continued.