IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Google to invest up to $1 billion in India’s second largest telco

The tech giant is aiming to invest a total of $10 billion into the country over the next few years

Google is investing up to $1 billion in Bharti Airtel as part of its Google for India Digitisation Fund.

The deal includes an investment of $700 million to acquire a 1.28% ownership in the Indian telco and up to $300 million towards mutually agreed multi-year commercial agreements over the course of the next five years.

As part of the first commercial agreement under the deal, the companies will work to scale Airtel’s offerings that cover a range of devices through affordability programmes. In the long term, both companies also plan to co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards, and focus on shaping and growing the cloud ecosystem in India by helping to accelerate digital transformation.

Google also said it’s looking to create new business models to help grow the Android OEM ecosystem in India with Airtel, but didn’t specify what kind of models these would be.

It also highlighted that it has made steady progress on the goals it set out to achieve with its Google for India Digitisation Fund, including building an India-focused Android experience and partnering with companies that build localised content experiences.

“Airtel is a leading pioneer shaping India’s digital future, and we are proud to partner on a shared vision for expanding connectivity and ensuring equitable access to the Internet for more Indians,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is a continuation of our Google for India Digitization Fund's efforts to increase access to smartphones, enhance connectivity to support new business models, and help companies on their digital transformation journey.”

Airtel has around 30.43% market share of wireless subscribers in India as of 30 November, 2021, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Reliance Jio leads the market with a 36.71% share, while Vodafone Idea has 22.88%.

Google outlined in 2020 that it would invest $10 billion in India over the following five to seven years through its India Digitisation Fund. The company is set to invest it through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, operations, infrastructure, and ecosystem investments.

Related Resource

How to think like a Digital CFO

How the digital world requires us to think differently

Whitepaper cover with graphic of digital matrix Free Download

Google said its goal was to make the Internet helpful for 1.3 billion Indians and help power the country’s economic engine.

Google, however, isn’t the only tech firm that has invested in Indian telcos, as in July 2020 Intel invested $253.5 million in Jio platforms, the country’s biggest telco, through its Intel Capital investment arm. The deal gave it a 0.39% stake in Jio.

Three months earlier, Facebook also invested $5.7 billion in Jio, as the telco’s owner Mukesh Ambani was selling off 20-25% of the company to raise money for its debt-ridden parent company, Reliance Industries.

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Recommended

Apple executive rejoins Google over remote work policy
flexible working

Apple executive rejoins Google over remote work policy

18 May 2022
India to roll out 6G by end of decade
Network & Internet

India to roll out 6G by end of decade

18 May 2022
Here’s the first look at Google’s new Bay View campus
Business operations

Here’s the first look at Google’s new Bay View campus

17 May 2022
Data centres that switch from HDDs to SSDs use 70% less power
data centres

Data centres that switch from HDDs to SSDs use 70% less power

16 May 2022

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Preparing for the 3G sunset
Network & Internet

Preparing for the 3G sunset

18 May 2022
(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security
Careers & training

(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security

17 May 2022