Mountain View, Ca. — Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telecommunications service provider, today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with VeriSign, Inc., the leading provider of Internet infrastructure for the networked world.
“Under the deal, Bharti Airtel will become VeriSign’s Strategic Market Partner and will deploy VeriSign’s services in India, leveraging Bharti Airtel’s in-country support and expertise.”
The Mountain View, California based-VeriSign announced that it will jointly launch with Bharti Airtel the best-in-class security services, to deliver VeriSign’s identity protection, managed security and fraud detection services, and to support the development of the next-generation Internet infrastructure in the Indian market.
“The new partnership is expected to deliver its first set of services to market in 2008.”
Additionally, as part of the partnership, Bharti Airtel said it will also utilize a number of VeriSign’s capabilities, including VeriSign Identity Protection or VIP services to improve significantly the internal capabilities of its infrastructure and to serve better the growing customers.
VeriSign noted that these services aim to revolutionize the way enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, and consumers harness the power of the Internet as well as develop new applications that leverage the convergence of mobile and Internet platforms.
Dr. Jai Menon, Director – IT & Innovation and Group Chief Information Officer of Bharti Airtel Limited, said, “The partnership with VeriSign demonstrates our intent to create a globally admired telecommunications company. Our combined strength will provide the Indian market with the latest Internet and IP infrastructure services, strongly supported by our local resources. We look forward to seeing the benefits of these services internally and for our customers.”
“Another focus area would be creating infrastructure to enable e-commerce around identity management. The two partners realize a huge challenge is in promoting the idea of online transactions being safe.”
Importantly, Bharti Airtel and VeriSign will offer co-branded services on a revenue-share basis. Besides, the MoU will also permit Bharti to become an issuing authority for SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certification in India. Any business that provides solutions or transactions on the internet, if it is SSL certified, implies the transaction is secure.
“A lot of our effort goes into making people comfortable with the idea of transacting on the Internet and the mobile phone,” says Chris Parsons, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at VeriSign. For VeriSign, the deal is a solution to its year-long search for a major strategic partner to enter into India in a big way.
“The deal also envisages that VeriSign will help Bharti develop the next-generation internet infrastructure in the Indian market. Using Bharti’s infrastructure like its data centers, VeriSign will also provide Internet security,” says Dr. Menon.
“At the same time, VeriSign, will also offer security to various IT platforms that Bharti and IBM are jointly developing.”
“VeriSign expects significant growth in the Indian market over the next several years. Our strategy was to find a partner that shared our vision for next-generation network services and had the capability to execute, and Bharti Airtel was our clear choice,” Parsons said. “Bharti’s commitment to enabling India to become a global leader in technology is clearly demonstrated by their actions.”
Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, is India’s leading integrated telecom services provider with an aggregate of 55.09 million customers as of end of November 2007, consisting of 52.96 million mobile customers. The company has been rated among the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007.
“The partnership with Bharti is one of our major partnerships on a global basis. We will jointly go to market,” Parsons added.