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S Tel eyes one million Orissa customers by '10
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S Tel, the latest entrant in the country's already crowded telecom market, is eyeing a subscriber base of one million in the Orissa circle by the end of 2010.

The company, a 51:49 joint venture between Chennai-based Siva Group and Bahrain Telecom, is betting big on the Orissa circle which has a tele-density of only 26 per cent compared to the national average of 44.87 per cent (as on October 31, 2009).

“By the end of 2010, we are aiming to cover all urban towns in Orissa and 60 per cent of the state's rural population. We are going to share the passive infrastructure in 900 telecom towers with the other cellular operators in the state”, P Swaminathan, director, S Tel said at the launch of S Tel's GSM service in the state.

Orissa offers a tremendous potential for growth of mobile services as it has a low tele-density of 26 per cent, he added.

Swaminathan said S Tel has tied up an investment of Rs 2100 crore for its mobile operations in six Category-C telecom circles including Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Jammu & Kashmir, North-East, Assam as well as Bihar and Jharkhand (taken to be a single circle).

He declined to comment on the investment figure for the Orissa circle.

“The striking feature of S Tel is that our customers will be able to transfer funds within the S Tel network, a feature hitherto not available with the existing mobile operators. This facility will be introduced within a month”, he stated.

Sanjib Swain, chief operating officer of S Tel's Orissa circle said, “From the day of launch, S Tel's services will be available in 11 towns of Orissa including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur, Chhatrapur, Pipili, Jatani, Khurda, Aska and Nimapada. Beyond this, we will also be present in over 3000 villages of the state.”

Customers in the state can sign up for S Tel with a pre-paid SIM of Rs 49. S Tel offers two base plans- the per second plan where calls can be made at the rate of one paisa per second and the per minute plan according to which the customers will be charged at the rate of 50 paisa per minute.
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