From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Airtel Introduces Communication Freedom
By Augustine Samba
Nov 23, 2010, 17:06

Airtel is the latest telecommunications brand in Sierra Leone. Replacing the Zain brand, Airtel was launched on Friday 19th November in an auspicious occasion at the Miatta Conference Hall, Youyi Building in Freetown.


The new Airtel brand was formally launched by the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Dr. Kelfala Marrah, and in attendance includes Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Richard Konteh, who represented the Vice President and the NATCOM Boss, Siray Timbo. 


Airtel Managing Director poses with some India dignitaries

 

Airtel is here to give people freedom, as according to the Airtel Managing Director, Rajvardhan Singh Bhollar, no freedom is an important as affordable, reliable and quality communication.


During the launch, MD Rajvardhan Singh Bhollar said: All Bharti Airtel operational 19 countries in Asia and Africa today launch the Airtel brand together, including Sierra Leone.

 

He assured that Airtel is very committed towards improvement of rural communities, school projects, increase in employment and many other unique innovations with potential to give freedom and power to subscribers.

Airtel Managing Director, Rajvardhan Singh Bhollar

 

The qualities are reflected in Airtel brand personality of being brave and bold, sensitive and empathic, he maintained.

 

Airtel, he emphasized, provides freedom to send emails, freedom to make payment with Airtel Money, freedom to make online purchase, freedom to make affordable calls, freedom to get Airtel music and a host of things that makes one feel free.


Airtel Staff displaying logo

 

Chairman of the National Telecommunication (NATCOM), Siray Timbo, congratulated and welcome the new Airtel brand.

 

NATCOM though barely four years old, has worked and partnered with the then Celtel and later Zain, to facilitate growth and development of communications, particularly in voice telephony. There were battles but fought in favorable circumstances which were solution oriented and geared towards a win-win situation, the NATCOM Boss said.

Guests at the launching


Timbo commended Zain, now Airtel, for its timely submission of reports to the Commission and healthy communication skills; the companys willingness to reduce the interconnection rate from US$0.13c to now US$0.07c which ultimately resulted in the reduced rate of airtime now enjoyed by customers nationwide; the creation of a mobile wallet that eliminates the need for customers to carry cash even for the purchase of fuel; and among others, the build-a-nation project which benefited some underprivileged schools throughout the country.


I would have gone on with the achievements but you have advised I make a short statement, Timbo observed.


Chief of Staff, Dr. Kelfala Marrah described the Airtel brand as truly global, pointing out that Airtel is the fifth largest communications company in the world. He expressed appreciation to Airtel for making Sierra Leone feel part of its global investment, adding that government is delighted and look forward to the continuation of this trend of advancement.

NATOCM Boss, Airtel MD, Chief of Staff


Marrah underscores governments commitment towards creating an enabling investment atmosphere for investors.


Commercial Director of Airtel Keith Tukei launched a new product called Ultra low cost hand set package which effectively provides a mobile phone free of charge to all new subscribers. The package was launched together with a new Nokia price as low as Le149,000 with a free SIM card with many facilities.

 

Airtel Commercial Director and Head of Corporate Affairs


Mr. Keith Tukei assured of the positive nature of the change of brand from Zain to Airtel, emphasizing that it is aimed at bringing more opportunities to Sierra Leoneans to join the world of communication. He said through the Airtel affordable innovative, rural school improvements and the promotion of music and other corporate social responsibilities, over 60% of the African population will have freedom to communication and achieve the global goal.



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