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Airtel announces strategic tie-up with Microsoft

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Airtel announces strategic tie-up with Microsoft - Becomes first Telco to offer Microsoft’s latest Windows Mobile 5.0 technology in India

· Strategic partnership with Microsoft to reinforce & strengthen Airtel’s innovation charter
· Airtel enhances its business solutions portfolio with Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 - a powerful platform that delivers a comprehensive mobile experience beyond just email
· Familiar MS Windows user interface big advantage for users
· A huge opportunity with a large enterprise segment running predominantly on the MS Exchange server
· An estimated 4 million SMEs potential users

New Delhi, August 21, 2006: Reinforcing its commitment to innovation, Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telecom services provider, today announced a strategic tie up with Microsoft. This partnership is expected to deliver great value to all Airtel customers spanning mobile, landline and Broadband services.

Today, Airtel and Microsoft launched Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 5.0 platform that provides an opportunity to all Airtel customers to access corporate email via direct push technology. Airtel becomes the first operator in India to offer this technology to its customers. The service will deliver
powerful business applications and multimedia experience to all Enterprise and SME customers across India.

Airtel’s tie up with Microsoft is part of its strategic innovation strategy that has been the cornerstone of the company’s objective to redefine the telecom experience of its 25 million plus customers. The tie-up also comes close on the heels of India’s first ever comprehensive ‘Service Delivery Platform’ that was recently announced by Airtel.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Manoj Kohli, President, Bharti Airtel Ltd., said “Our partnership with Microsoft reinforces and strengthens our commitment to innovation. This is a great beginning for two leaders in the industry to come together and forge a strategic partnership with a single
minded focus of providing value to the end user. It has always been our aim to be a step ahead of customer expectation and this alliance will further help us achieve this objective and consolidate our leadership position.”

The Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 5.0 platform offers a host of applications, with a never-before ease of use. All Airtel users will now have access to MS office (Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Internet Explorer), multi-mediafunctionality (camera, MP3, video recording) and Line of Business applications like Sales Force Automation on their mobile phones. With this latest innovative offering, Airtel has significantly enhanced its business solutions portfolio.

Elaborating on Microsoft’s value proposition for customers, Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India, said, “The launch of Windows Mobile 5.0 is in line with our stated vision of creating People Ready Businesses. Microsoft believes that people are the most critical asset of any business and empowering them with the right software is an imperative to deliver greater business value. Windows Mobile 5.0 is the perfect solution for the global mobile workforce to work in an always on environment and better organize their work and personal lives.”

“The alliance with Bharti Airtel reflects the synergy between two industry leaders, both focused at innovating to help individuals realize their true potential. With this association Bharti Airtel thus joins 115 existing mobile operators who currently offer the Windows Mobile solution worldwide,”
he further added

This platform is viable for broader adoption by enterprise customers as a large number of such organizations in India use MS Exchange as their core platform for mail applications within their enterprise. Windows Mobile 5.0 is seamlessly integrated with MS Exchange server 2003. In addition, it does not require additional middleware or servers and offers a cost effective e-mail push environment.

This tie-up also gives Airtel the opportunity to tap into the estimated 4 million SME market share in India. With anytime access to MS Office, it offers a compelling proposition to users from these segments that are constantly on the move. Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 will be available to Airtel customers on the latest HP I-Paq and I-Mate handsets. Airtel enterprise customers will
also get the benefit of preferential hand-set pricing. A dedicated after-sales support, owing to the back to back SLA with all its partners, ensures uninterrupted services exclusively for Airtel’s customers.

About Bharti Airtel Ltd.

Bharti Airtel Limited is one of India’s leading private sector providers of telecommunications services with an aggregate of 25.89 million customers as of end of July‘06, consisting of 24.34 million mobile customers. Bharti Airtel has been being ranked among the top 10 best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list. The company was the first private operator to provide mobile services in all the 23 circles in India. The company also provides telephone services and Internet access over DSL in 92 cities. The company complements its mobile, broadband & telephone services with national and international long distance services. The company also has a submarine cable landing station at Chennai, which connects the submarine
cable (owned by an associate company) connecting Chennai and Singapore. The company is a part of the consortium, which jointly owns and has developed the next generation undersea cable system SEA-ME-WE-4. The company provides reliable end-to-end data and enterprise services to the corporate customers by leveraging its nationwide fiber optic backbone, last mile connectivity
in fixed-line and mobile circles, VSATs, ISP and international bandwidth access through the gateways and landing station. For more information, visit http://www.bhartiairtel.in

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software-any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft has been in India since 1990 and employs over 4000 people across its offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.

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