Expanding its One Network services to the Indian subcontinent, Bharti Airtel on Thursday said its African customers will not be required to pay roaming charges on incoming calls while travelling in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Airtel customers already avail this facility across the company’s mobile network in 17 African countries, not having to pay roaming charges while travelling across these countries.

“Airtel’s One Network now gives our customers the ability to drastically reduce roaming charges whilst travelling within and across the two continents. Our goal is to provide affordable and relevant mobile communication solutions across borders,” Airtel Africa Chief Marketing Officer Andre Beyers said in a statement.

Airtel customers in Africa need not register for the One Network service or buy new SIM cards as they will now be automatically provisioned as ‘citizens’ of Airtel’s borderless network across 20 countries in Africa and Asia.

This offers opportunities to a base of 60 million Airtel customers in Africa to roam at affordable tariffs in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the statement said.

“By offering free incoming calls whilst roaming, the service ups the ante for global telecom providers as the seamless service across continents is a world-first amongst mobile service providers,” it added.

Within the African countries, One Network also allows Airtel customers to use their local Airtel SIM cards whilst abroad.

This would give them access to attractive rates for calls made and enjoy value added services and recharge using local top up vouchers in the country visited, besides being able to access data.

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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