01 May, 2013

Airtel creates borderless network to make voice, data and SMS roaming affordable to travelers

·          In addition to allowing customers receive free incoming calls whilst roaming across Africa & South Asia, the ONE AIRTEL service will give them access to SMS and DATA at an attractive flat rate.
·         Increased use of data whilst roaming makes the introduction of the ONE AIRTEL service timely and beneficial to millions of Airtel’s travelling population.
Nairobi, Kenya, 29 April 2013 - Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), 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.

Emirates’ travel distribution arm, EmQuest opens office in Kenya

Nairobi: 28 April 2013: EmQuest, travel distribution of Emirates Airline and distributer of Sabre products in the UAE, Africa and the Indian Ocean, further expands its operations across Africa by opening a new office in Nairobi, Kenya, in partnership with Safari Holdings; providing Sabre solutions, sales and services to Kenyan travel agents across the country.

The Sabre Travel Network Kenya office will enable travel agents in Kenya to use Sabre to access a wide range of content, innovative travel solutions and help them manage their customers and grow their business further.

“Our presence in Nairobi demonstrates our significant investment in the African continent which is constantly evolving and is expected to be one of the fastest growing regions in the world in terms of travel and tourism,” said Naz Nizari, Senior Vice-President of EmQuest. “EmQuest is determined to support African growth and be part of the continent’s economic expansion by providing agents across East Africa with an excellent GDS (Global Distribution System) and innovative travel-related services that add value to their business.”

Customers of Sabre will be supported by a local support team, located in the region and benefit from the out-of-hours support provided by EmQuest’s network.
Sabre team led by Nazma Jamal, Managing Director for Sabre East Africa  (4th left) when they met travel agents in Nairobi.
“With the combined support of our partners, dedicated teams and strength of our local infrastructure, we are confident that Sabre operations will grow and prosper across East Africa.  This new expansion reflects our excitement and commitment to expand and explore new dimensions with the agents in this fast-growing region,” said Nazma Jamal, Managing Director for Sabre East Africa, who will be responsible for both the distribution of Sabre and the management of teams in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. 
Agents were able to experience the Sabre products and speak to representatives of EmQuest and Sabre Kenya on Friday, 26 April, at a special industry event called Karibuni Sabre at the Best Western Premier Nairobi.

Sabre enters the market with its award-winning Sabre Red total travel solution, designed for corporate and leisure travel agencies to manage every part of their business. At the heart of this is the Sabre Red Workspace, a highly configurable platform for travel agencies to shop, book and manage travel, while delivering excellent customer service.

Sabre’s new graphical view in the Sabre Red Workspace provides agents the option to shop, book and manage travel in a graphical setting. Using this, agents will be able to book air, car and hotel using format-free, point-and-click functionality, making training on the Sabre system, whether for a novice or seasoned agent, simple and easy. More experienced agents can speed through bookings using both the new graphical view and traditional ’classic view’ format. The company will also launch a range of mobile, social media, business intelligence, travel security, and efficiency tools for agencies.

Committed to the highest standards of excellence, EmQuest, a division of the Emirates Group, is the sole distributer of Sabre products in the United Arab Emirates, increasing its Sabre market share from 14 to 40% in in a three year span. In addition to extending the products to agencies, EmQuest is investing in regional distribution solutions to provide content such as tour holidays, travel insurance, mid-back office solutions and online booking solutions to provide agencies with a single, powerful platform to help serve their clients. EmQuest and Sabre have continuously reinforced their commitment to continuously invest and grow in the Middle East and African markets.

Samsung Galaxy S4 phones will soon be available in over 140 Airtel outlets across Africa

·         The world’s fourth largest mobile operator will make the coveted smartphone available across Africa
·         Airtel will offer 3 months free data plans to the customers who buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets
Nairobi, Kenya, April, 25th  2013 – Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), a leading telecommunications service provider with operations in 20 countries across South Asia and Africa, has remained steadfastly committed to providing its customers with cutting edge services. Beginning early May, consumers will have the opportunity to buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones in all Airtel outlets across the African continent.
Airtel customers will not only get the chance to get their hands on the most sought-after mobile device of the year, but they will also get 3 months data to go with it. The offer is available while stocks last. 
Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer of Airtel Africa said: “We have responded to our customers’ demands for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and are very excited to make this ground-breaking phone available in Africa. Thanks to our 3.75G network, Airtel customers will be able to fully take advantage of all the features of this truly innovative mobile device."
Mr. Beyers added: “From a business perspective, smart phone penetration is linked to strong data growth. This is demonstrated through internal data which shows that  Samsung smartphones generate twenty times more data than feature phones.”
The much anticipated handset reached 10 million pre-orders in the first two weeks after its announcement. George Ferreira, Vice President and COO of Samsung Electronics, Africa says: “We are extremely happy to be partnering with Airtel across Africa, bringing the Samsung Galaxy S4 to their customers.  We are confident that Airtel customers will greatly benefit from the  data offering with the S4 ”

The Samsung GALAXY S4 is all about ‘togetherness’. It overcomes barriers of distance by enabling friends share screens, as well as explore each other’s favorite music, files and games.
Every picture taken on the Samsung GALAXY S4 can come with sound. The smartphone captures all the action and enables users relive all those exciting memories. As a real life companion, the new Samsung GALAXY S4 cares enough to monitor the health and well-being of its owner. By monitoring fitness levels during workouts and throughout the day, the device can help achieve  fitness goals. 


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