Customer Story

A digital brain to engage 350M customers in real time

About the company

Bharti Airtel Limited


Bharti Airtel Limited, also known as Airtel, is the largest mobile networking operator in India and the third largest in the world with services in South Asia and Africa. It offers services in banking as well as mobile telephony, fixed line, broadband, IPTV, and digital TV. Airtel has experienced massive growth, from four million users in India in 2004 to some 320 million users in 2020, and expanding to 600 million by the end of 2021.


Unify real-time, personalized, experiences for 350M customers

With 1.3B potential customers in India alone, competition is fierce to win and retain customers. Airtel’s goal is to create delight and a seamless experience for their customers spanning all Airtel’s services and channels — mobility, broadband internet, TV, and payments. But first, Airtel needed to leave behind their outsourced technology approach with IBM and develop an in-house common platform aimed at unifying their siloed business systems from the ground up.

Scale is a huge challenge for Airtel. They need to process over 100B records a day, growing to over 200B records daily by the end of next year. The solution — Customer 360 — needs to use a single repository to look at stored data and real time information, apply AI and machine learning, anticipate the customer’s next action or interest, and serve up customized, personalized experiences. It also needs to identify which users are key influencers in their social and work circles, and target those users with offers to help drive adoption of services.

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Offer personalized customer experiences

Capability to process over 200B records a day using AI and machine learning, identify key influencers, and offer all customers a customized experience.
Dynamic Data Distribution

Aggregate data from all channels

Collect and combine data sources on 350M customers from all channels to have a 360 degree view of the customer.

Increase customer engagement

Prevent churn while increasing average revenue per user (ARPU) via next action predictions.

Real-time competitive edge accomplished in months, not years

Aerospike gives Airtel the ability to gain a real‐time competitive edge over its competition. Not only did Aerospike provide a data solution that could handle its heavy, mixed workload technical requirements, the Aerospike team also worked closely with Airtel to bring its new solution to market in record time. The project, which Airtel would have normally expected to take years, was accomplished in 16 months.

Aerospike is currently used in multiple use cases at Airtel, including:

  • The common database layer that sits across Airtel’s entire technology stack, providing high transaction, high value, and ultra low latency.
  • The data store that processes 350M customer records in Customer 360 and extends to the bank and payments platform, providing high responsiveness, real time accessibility, and low latency, mixed workload transactions.
  • The data layer for TEAM, a deep, open API-based platform that provides developers the ability to develop solutions on top of Airtel platforms in real time.

The Aerospike solution provides Airtel:

Consolidated data from 350M million customers

Could take data from 350 million customers and bring it into one database at 40,000 TPS with sub-millisecond performance

Deeper insights from trillions of records

Mine trillions of records with deep learning to understand customer activity and answer deeper questions

Personalized experience

Understand what their customers were doing, what they wanted, and how and when they wanted it

Customer 360

Every system in the ecosystem (Airtel as well as 3rd party services) could query the database to ask information about the customer.

Reduced TCO, greater scale, and resilient persistence

Aerospike provided the ability to take data from 350 million customers across all channels and bring that into one database at a rate of more than 40,000 transactions per second with sub-millisecond performance to significantly improve reads and writes for the Airtel Digital Brain 360 solution.

90% TCO reduction

Moving from Oracle TimesTen to Aerospike resulted in a 90% reduction in total cost of ownership

Process over 100 billion records daily

Airtel can process 100 billion+ records a day at a rate of 25K-40K transactions per second
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Holistic customer view

Elimination of siloed data allows Airtel to use historical data and real-time triggers to develop a better customer understanding

Resilience and 99.999% reliability

With bespoke enhancements, Aerospike enabled resilient persistence to prevent any data loss and realize 99.999% reliability

Surpass limits with Aerospike