Asia Bizz: Indian telecom company Bharti Airtel announced on December 8, 2011 that it will have exclusive rights of distribution for certain  Samsung Electronics Co’s wireless products in 17 of the African countries.

The company is reported to hold the rights for the first six months after their launch. A two year partnership pact has been signed between the two companies.

Bharti Airtel, in a statement, said that the move by the company was to aim at driving mobile penetration in the African countries. In terms of subscribers, Airtel is considered to be the fifth largest mobile operator in India.

The mobile operator said in a statement  on Thursday that the products include mass market mobile handsets, smartphones, dongles, routers, tablet computers and routers. At present, Bharti operates in 16 of the African countries and has also secured licenses in the month of September to start the services in Rwanda. In Africa, there are more than 50 million subscribers of Airtel. Samsung and Airtel will be working together to provide market specific products that are based on trends and consumer preferences. The joint managing director Manoj Kohli said that the partnership means that they remain committed to meeting the African needs and will be working closely with Samsung to provide customers in every segment.