Google to Invest $1 Billion in Airtel – Here are the Full Details
Google to invest $1 billion in airtel, the world’s second-largest internet market, as part of a $10 billion commitment to the country.
Google said that it will invest $700 million to buy a 1.28 percent investment in Airtel, India’s second-biggest telecom provider with over 300 million users, and another $300 million to explore multi-year commercial partnerships with the telco.
Airtel’s products would be expanded to include a wide range of Android-enabled smartphones for consumers through “innovative affordability schemes,” according to the two companies. According to them, Google and Airtel would look at forming agreements with smartphone manufacturers in order to develop more cheap handsets.
In a statement, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, stated, “Airtel is a major pioneer defining India’s digital future, and we are thrilled to cooperate on a shared goal for extending connectivity and guaranteeing equal access to the Internet for more Indians.”
“Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is part of our Google for India Digitization Fund’s initiatives to expand smartphone access, improve connection to support new business models, and assist small and large businesses in their digital transformation.”
The news comes at a time when Airtel and Vodafone have been trying to find methods to repay the Indian government billions of dollars. New Delhi received nearly 35 percent of Vodafone’s stock earlier this month, giving it the company’s largest stakeholder.
Vodafone and Airtel compete with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms, which is headed by Asia’s richest man. Thanks to its low-cost voice and internet plans, Jio Platforms has garnered over 400 million members in India. In 2020, Google will invest $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms. The Ambani-controlled company has received backing from Facebook and nearly a dozen other companies. Ans recently Google to invest $1 billion in airtel is on air.
Google and Jio Platforms have also teamed up to create a unique Android smartphone geared at the public, as they previously said. However, analysts claim that the device, which has already been delayed, is much too expensive to appeal to a large portion of the populace. (At an event in India in 2017, Pichai stated that for broad adoption, many regions, including India, require phones at a price point of $30.) The JioPhone is around $87.)
On Friday, Airtel said that it will collaborate with Google on “bigger strategic goals” and “possibly” co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards.
According to the corporations, they also intend to engage in “defining and strengthening” the cloud ecosystem in India. The announcement on Friday would “help drive digital adoption,” according to Airtel, which already serves over 1 million small and medium-sized companies through its enterprise connection service.
“Through innovative products, Airtel and Google share the objective of growing India’s digital dividend. We look forward to working closely with Google to improve the depth and breadth of India’s digital ecosystem, including our future-ready network, digital platforms, last-mile distribution, and payments ecosystem,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, in a statement.
India is one of the remaining major growth areas for American technology companies, with over 600 million internet users and more on the way. Google and Facebook both undertook efforts in the last decade to connect tens of millions of Indians to the internet. Thus, the idea of Google to invest $1 billion in airtel is a hit.