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 Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Bharti Airtel's recently purchased mobile operator in Malawi – which remains under the Zain trademark for an interim period – has launched commercial 3G services. The Nyasa Times reports that the cellco is offering users of its UMTS network free video calling and free access to websites including Facebook, Twitter and BBC for a promotional 30-day period, whilst it is also running an Apple iPad promotion. ‘Today we move Malawi forward in terms of technology towards a new generation of mobile phone services,’ said Saulos Chilima, managing director of Zain-Airtel Malawi, adding: ‘What makes the 3G experience with Zain even more exceptional is that we are offering the most affordable rate of one tambala (MWK0.01 [USD0.00007]) for every kilobyte downloaded.’ After its acquisition of the Zain Africa portfolio around three months ago Bharti Airtel announced an injection of USD100 million over three years into its networks in Malawi. In June 2010 the Indian group finalised the acquisition of the majority of the African assets of Kuwait-based Zain Group, in a deal valued at USD10.7 billion. The company took over Zain’s operations in 15 countries, including Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda. The Zain identity and brand in these 15 operations will continue to be used for an interim period under a temporary agreement.

Source: TeleGeography