Bharti Airtel said it, along with SoftBank Mobile, has successfully conducted a field trial of a technology that provides cost-efficient 3G phone services using a communications satellite as a transmission line.
The field trial was conducted in actual environment in Kenya.
"This technology is critically important to the development of mobile phone networks in rural areas in Africa and other areas where commercialisation of such operations is challenging," Bharti Airtel Africa CTO Bayan Monadjem said in a statement.
The company said for areas where it was difficult to build facilities for fixed-line telecommunications and mobile communications, the development of communications networks using satellite transmission lines has been considered but expensive usage fees have been the primary barrier.
However, with this trial, Bharti Airtel and SoftBank Mobile validated technologies and methods for providing communication services using a communications satellite in rural areas at a low cost.
The technology has already been developed and commercialised by SoftBank Mobile.
It was used when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred in March 2011 to rebuild mobile phone networks in out-of-range areas by operating over 300 satellite base stations.