Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Airtel Africa is a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications multinational Bharti Airtel. It was founded in 2010 after Airtel acquired all of Zain’s African operations, with the exception of Sudan. It operates in 15 countries in Africa.
The Celtel group was founded in 1998 by Sudanese–British businessman Mo Ibrahim. It was sold to the Kuwait-headquartered Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) in 2005.
Celtel started the ‘One Network’ in 2006, which allowed users to roam freely in several African countries.
MTC, the parent company of Celtel, rebranded to Zain in September 2007. Accordingly, all Celtel networks in Africa were rebranded to Zain on 1 August 2008.
Zain sold its entire African business to Indian telecom company Airtel in 2010, with the exception of Sudan. (After South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011, Zain started operating there as well.) All the Zain networks were accordingly rebranded to Airtel on 23 November 2010, with the new corporate logo that had been introduced five days before, on 18 November.
| Indian operations:|
Mobile telecommunications: Airtel | Tata Docomo1 | Satellite DTH television: Airtel Digital TV | Internet video box/stick: Airtel Xstream
Defunct operations: Telenor (India)7
1Formerly a joint venture between Tata Group and NTT docomo. Acquired from Tata by Airtel.
| Current operations: Middle East: Zain (Bahrain | Iraq | Jordan | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia) | Touch (Lebanon)|
| Asia-Pacific members: Australia: Optus1 | Hong Kong: csl. | India and Sri Lanka: Bharti Airtel1 | Indonesia: Telkomsel1 (Timor-Leste: Telkomcel) | Japan: SoftBank Mobile | Macau: CTM | Malaysia: Maxis Communications | Philippines: Globe Telecom1 | Singapore: Singtel1 | South Korea: SK Telecom | Taiwan: Taiwan Mobile | Thailand: AIS1 | Vietnam: MobiFone
African member: Airtel1 (Chad, DR Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rep. Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia)
1Wholly- or partly-owned subsidiaries of Singtel.