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    Global money transfer pilot project launched in India by Bharti and GSMA
    -  Sunil Bharti Mittal as GSMA Global Board sponsor will guide this special programme that will enable over 25 million Indians abroad to send money to India through their mobile -


    New Delhi, February 12, 2007: Bharti Airtel has joined hands with The GSM Association to launch a pilot programme that will eventually enable over 25 million Indians abroad to remit money to India through their mobile phones. In this initiative for India, Bharti Airtel and State Bank of India have created an innovative public/private partnership to serve Indians at home and abroad.


    "We believe that this coming together of the mobile and banking industry is a giant leap in mobile commerce," added Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises; Board Member of the GSM Association, and the board sponsor of this programme. "It will revolutionise the money transfer industry with its advantages, such as reach, ease of use, and lower transaction costs and provide immense benefits to 25 million of Indians across the world and their families in India."


    India is the biggest recipient of overseas remittances in the world at $25bn, accounting for around 10% of the world market. The remittances market is growing by 20% in India every year. This programme will enable global Indians to easily and securely send remittances to their dependents, many of whom don’t have bank accounts. Intent is to enable individuals access to the benefits of a full range of financial services regardless of socio economic level or geographical location using the ubiquity and ease of mobile communications. The programme will complement existing local remittances channels and make transferring money internationally significantly more affordable.


    Mr. O. P. Bhatt, Chairman, State Bank of India, India’s largest bank, added: "We are happy to partner with the GSM Association in this landmark project. We piloted a project in a small Himalayan village of Pithoragarh in India with Airtel and have seen the tremendous results in this unbanked village. This project has the potential of transforming the lives and economies across the globe"

     


    About the GSMA Programme


    The pilot programe launched by GSM Association is aimed at tapping the ubiquity and ease-of-use of mobile communications to enable the world’s 200 million international migrant workers to easily and securely send remittances to their dependents, many of whom don’t have bank accounts. By exploiting the extensive reach of the mobile networks, the programme will complement existing local remittances channels and make transferring money internationally significantly more affordable.

    Spearheaded by a special group of 19 mobile operators with networks in over 100 countries and representing over 600 million customers, the GSMA believes the programme could double the number of recipients of international remittances to more than 1.5 billion, while helping to quadruple the size of the international remittances market to more than $1 trillion by 2012.

     

    About Bharti Airtel Limited:


    Bharti Airtel Limited is one of India’s leading private sector providers of telecommunications services with an aggregate of 35.51 million customers as of end of January‘07, consisting of 33.73 million mobile customers. Bharti Airtel has been rated among 10 best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list.

    Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units - Mobile services, Broadband & Telephone (B&T) services and Enterprise services. The mobile business provides mobile & fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23 telecom circles. The B&T business provides broadband & telephone services in 94 cities. The Enterprise services provide end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national & international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel’s high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 39,000 kms covering all the major cities in the country. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe. For more information, visit www.bhartiairtel.in