New Delhi | Jagran Tech Desk: Intending to improve internet connectivity, and provide 5G services and affordable smartphones in India, tech giant Google has decided to invest USD 1 billion in telecom major Bharti Airtel, said the two companies in a joint statement on Friday.

The Google made this investment as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund. Under this, it will invest USD 700 million in Airtel to acquire 1.28 per cent stake.

The remaining USD 300 million will be invested toward potential multi-year commercial agreements.

The two companies said through their partnership they will "continue to explore building on their existing partnerships to potentially co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards, and help accelerate the cloud ecosystem for businesses across India".

"As a part of its first commercial agreement, Airtel and Google will work together to build on Airtel's extensive offerings that covers a range of Android-enabled devices to consumers via innovative affordability programmes," they said.

"Together, the companies will continue to explore further opportunities to bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone across a range of price points, in partnership with various device manufacturers," they added.

Airtel is already using Google's 5G-ready Evolved Packet Core and Software Defined Network platforms and plans to explore scaling up the deployment of Google's network virtualization solutions to deliver a superior network experience to their customers.

Both companies will also focus on shaping and growing the cloud ecosystem in India to accelerate their digital transformation journeys. Airtel serves over one million small and medium businesses with its enterprise connectivity offering, and this partnership will help accelerate digital adoption, the statement said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma