COP26 – What Big Businesses like Airtel Should Consider
Airtel Networks Plc, Telecom

Airtel Annual Report (2020). Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presences in 14 countries in Africa. Airtel Africa offers an integrated suite of telecommunication solutions to its subscribers, including mobile voice and data services as well as mobile money services both nationally and internationally. The group aims to continue providing a simple and intuitive customer experience through streamlined customer journeys.

According to Airtel’s managing director Apoorva Mehrotra, in an annual report (2020), he states that, in 2020, Airtel networks Zambia Plc continued to improve its operational business performance despite the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic that threatened to disrupt trade and commerce for the most part of 2020. Competition continued to heighten in the market with very innovative products and services deployed by all operators. Airtel held its own and retained and strengthened revenue market leadership despite the challenging economic environment. “Our highly innovative and dedicated employees made this possible”, he said.

“Despite the foregoing, 2020 saw Airtel continue to invest in the country’s largest 4G network (100% 4G) as we continue to support the governments digital agenda as expounded in both the 7th National development plan as well as the vision 2030. Airtel further participated in an open tender floated by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) for 10 MHz in 800 spectrum Band. In December 2020, ZICTA announced that it had awarded Airtel 10 MHz spectrum this spectrum will enable Airtel to deploy and enhance Mobile Broad Band coverage in underserved areas and enhanced capacity on our already existing network. Following the award of the 800 spectrum Band by ZICTA, Airtel will embark on network deployment to operationalize this spectrum to deliver quality and coverage advantage. Airtel will further continue to drive adoption of Data services, which shall be a key driver for growth. To achieve this, we shall focus on device partner tie-ups for our shops across the country to retail a variety of Data enabled devices at competitive prices,” said Mr Apoorva Mehrotra.

However, as Airtel plans to embark on projects to scale new heights, they might also care to welcome and show interest in the COP26 as other big companies have done, they might do this by embarking on awareness campaigns to spread the news on climate change, introducing data bundles that promotes climate change awareness, as well as reducing the production of scratch cards by encouraging stakeholders to use mobile top-ups, and educating its shareholders and the public at large on the impact climate change has on the environment.

According to McKinsey Sustainability, October 28, 2021 – COP26, “the United Nations (UN) climate summit which opens in Glasgow on October 31, 2021, is widely seen as pivotal moment in the effort to halt climate change. According to the most recent physical-science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-sponsored scientific body, it remains possible to keep temperatures from rising by more than 1.5°C over the preindustrial baseline─and thereby stabilize the climate. Reaching the 1.5°C target would require rapid reductions of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, but these reductions are not yet happening at the necessary pace or scale.”

Harry Bowcott, McKinsey Sustainability stated that, “the UK government, which will preside over COP26, has expressed every intention of turning the situation around. Even if the summit is not a complete success, discussions and agrements in Glasgow could accelerate the worlds response to climate change─and alter the business landscape. For companies, several major topics on the COP26 agenda stand out: government commitments, capital investment, and adaption resilience,” he said.

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