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Google Cloud announced that the new partnership would enable Airtel to offer G Suite to small and medium-sized businesses as part of the telco's ICT portfolio.
FREMONT, CA: Google has signed a deal with Airtel, India's third-largest telecom operator, to grow its cloud customer base in the key overseas market. The cloud market is emerging as a new battleground with AWS and Microsoft being the key player.
Google Cloud announced that the new partnership would enable Airtel to offer G Suite to small and medium-sized businesses as part of the telco's ICT portfolio. Airtel, with over 325 million Indian subscribers, said it currently serves around 2,500 large businesses and over 500,000 small and medium-sized businesses and startups in the country. The company did not disclose the details of their financial arrangement.
In a statement, Thomas Kurian, chief executive of Google Cloud, said, "the combination of G Suite's collaboration and productivity tools with Airtel's digital business offerings will help accelerate digital innovations for thousands of Indian businesses."
Prior to this, Reliance Jio, India's largest telecom operator, had struck striking a similar deal with Microsoft to sell cloud services to small businesses. The deal between Google and Jio announced a 10-year partnership with the objective to "serve millions of customers."
It is strange that AWS, the leader of the cloud market, does not maintain any similar deals with a telecom operator presently -though it had in the past. To acquire news users in India, such deals between the tech giants and the carriers were very common a decade ago.
It was only in the last decade that nearly half a billion people in India came online. And slowly, small businesses and merchants have started using storage services, digital tools, and accept online payments. According to a report by Nasscom, India's cloud market is expected to be worth more than $7 billion in three years.
The three companies viz. AWS, Azure, and Google have also launched a range of tools and conducted training in India in recent years to help stores easily build a presence on the web. Moreover, Amazon recently declared it is investing $1 billion into its India operations to help about 10 million merchants come online.
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