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    First of its kind project in the country to connect 13,716 villages across the state
    • Telecom infrastructure to connect Village Panchayats Offices and Common Service Centres
    • Project aimed at providing connectivity to the masses
    • With this project Airtel assumes a leadership position in the VSAT space

    New Delhi, October 7, 2007: Bharti Airtel Limited, India's leading telecommunication services provider, today announced that it will partner with the Government of Gujarat in the prestigious eGRAM Connectivity Infrastructure Project. Under this first-of-its kind project in the country, Bharti Airtel will set-up telecom infrastructure to connect 13,716 Village Panchayats and Common Service Centres in the state. Once connected, the Panchayat Offices/eGRAMs are expected to form a powerful socio-economic network supporting information dissemination and facilitating e-governance initiatives in the state.
    The MoU commissioning the project was signed in Ahmedabad today between Bharti Airtel and Panchayat, Rural Housing & Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat in the presence of Mr. Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat and Mr. Manoj Kohli, President and CEO, Bharti Airtel.
    Commenting on this significant partnership, Mr. Manoj Kohli, President & CEO, Bharti Airtel said, "We are delighted to partner with the Govt. of Gujarat in innovative and novel project of empowering its citizens. This partnership reiterates Airtel's endeavour to collaborate with the Government's e-governance plans and efforts to bridge the "digital divide" by providing connectivity to the rural masses. The e-enabling of the state is an important step as the country moves into the next phase of economic growth."
    Bharti Airtel has designed a comprehensive VSAT-based solution to provide last mile connectivity to these villages. Bharti Airtel was chosen for this project owing to this unique VSAT-based last mile solution backed by a strong delivery plan to reach out to the rural masses. The project roll-out is expected to take place in a fast-track mode with completion slated for March 2008. The project also assumes significance for the company as it clearly puts it in a leadership position in the VSAT space.
    The project linking 13,716 Village Panchayats and Common Service Centers located in the remotest corners of the state will ensure high quality and cost-effective video, voice and data services in the areas of agriculture, e-governance, health, education etc. at Village Panchayats. The connectivity will also facilitate point to point and point to multipoint video conferencing services, VOIP services and both intra & Internet services from these village panchayats and Common Service Centers.
    Airtel has been consistently focusing on enhancing telecom penetration in the rural areas of the country to bring about a true telecom revolution. The company has been constantly innovating to utilise technology to the fullest for the benefit of the rural populace and this project is another significant step in this direction.

    About Bharti Airtel Limited:

    Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, is India's leading integrated telecom services provider with an aggregate of 50 million customers. Bharti Airtel has been rated among the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007.
    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 53,000 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