Indian telecoms operator Bharti Airtel has said it has increased investment in the upgrade and expansion of its Nigerian network to around USD1 billion, Total Telecom reports, citing an interview with Airtel Nigeria’s CEO in local newspaper Daily Trust. The figure is significantly higher than the USD600 million that Bharti originally planned to spend on Airtel Nigeria in its first 18 months since acquiring the cellco in June 2010 through the purchase of Kuwaiti operator Zain Group’s African assets. ‘We have made significant investment and are still making [investments] as we seek to strengthen the network we inherited, make it more robust and expand coverage especially to the rural communities,’ commented Rajan Swaroop, CEO of Airtel Nigeria, adding: ‘This year we are investing USD1 billion in Nigeria to achieve our objectives of providing world-class service to Nigerians.’ Swaroop added that the additional investment is necessary to extend coverage to remote and rural areas that remain largely unserved by mobile networks.
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