Softbank To Enter India Through Airtel

Bharti Enterprises & SoftBank Corp (Japan) have formally launched a 50:50 Joint venture Bharti Softbank Holdings Pvt. Ltd.

Drawing on Bharti’s expertise with Mobile markets for India, SoftBank aims to make new inroads in the mobile internet ecosystems, with a focus on three key specific areas: Social Media, Gaming & e-Commerce. With over 865 Million [TRAI Aug 2011] mobile subscribers & counting, India’s Mobile Internet market is a hotbed for new avenues of revenue generation.

The venture is headed by Atsushi Taira (CEO- BSB) who has vast experience with companies such as Coca-Cola, DoCoMo AOL, MySpace Japan and also Yahoo! Japan. In September 2010, he was appointed an as advisor to the CEO’s office and SVP of international business development at SoftBank Corporation to develop mobile Internet opportunities for Asian countries.

Commenting on the JV, Kavin Bharti Mittal (inducted last year as an employee at Bharti Airtel’s Dutch subsidiary), BSB’s head of strategy & new product development said “India, which has emerged as the second largest mobile market in the world, stands at the cusp of another revolution – mobile internet, We are delighted to partner with SoftBank whose vast experience in this area will help us build and invest in services for India”.

Third generation (3G) services have already been launched by all major telecom players, including Bharti Airtel. It seems with such a high saturation in the voice telephony, telecom companies are progressively focusing on data services to boost revenues. What are your views?

Author: Alap Naik Desai

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