Airtel moves to make voice, data and SMS roaming affordable

By The Citizen

Bharti Airtel ('Ariel'), a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa has introduced the ONE AIRTEL service which will further ease the burden of roaming costs whilst travelling.

The newly introduced service will further enhance communication for travelers from Africa by enabling them access data and SMS, in addition to the currently available voice roaming, at a flat attractive rate whilst travelling within Africa and South Asia.

Commenting on the service, Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer for Airtel's operations in Africa, said: 'Data usage has increased exponentially over the past few years, alongside the growing number of smart phones. There are an increasing number of excellent apps that can be used whilst on the go internationally.

By introducing a flat and attractive roaming rate for data and SMS use, Airtel will help lower the communication cost for millions of frequent business and leisure travelers across the countries that we operate in.'

Airtel customers will not need to register or buy new SIM cards, as they are automatically enrolled in the ONE AIRTEL service.  In addition to enjoying flat roaming tariffs for data and SMS, they will also be treated as local consumers so pay local rates whenever they travel to nations where Airtel operates in.

The service is available in Airtel's operations across Africa in Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In South Asia, Airtel is in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Mr. Beyers added 'Whilst travelling, customers will feel right at home because they will be able to use their Airtel SIM cards in the host country. Airtel customers will also receive calls for free and have the opportunity to recharge their phone credit by using the host country's top up vouchers.

There is a nominal mark up on the local rate to cover for exchange rate differences and currency fluctuations.'

The service is poised to benefit not only the customers who want to be reached on their home number whenever they roam, but also all the high end smartphone users who will appreciate using the increasing number of data applications at a flat and attractive data rate.

With the ONE AIRTEL initiative, Airtel is fulfilling its vision of creating a borderless Africa. Personal and business relationships are no longer hindered by geography. Thanks to the mobile money platform, Airtel Money, financial transactions can also be done easily and affordably across the continent.