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S Tel to offer MNP, intra-circle roaming
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Quote:S Tel, one of the latest entrants into the country's mobile services market, has decided to foray into three emerging areas of telecom business- Mobile Number Portability (MNP), 3G services and intra-circle roaming (ICR).

The company, a joint venture between Chennai-based Siva Group and Bahrain Telecom, expects to offer MNP service to its subscribers by the year-end and has set a target of rolling out its 3G services by the third quarter of 2011-12. For the ICR service, the operator is in talks with a couple of its peers and hopes to roll out the service soon in the circles where it operates.

ICR is a refreshing concept in mobile operations where an operator can offer roaming services to its subscribers in areas within a circle where it has no coverage.

Shamik Das, chief executive officer, S Tel said, “We are in talks with a couple of operators for the introduction of ICR service in the Orissa circle. The introduction of ICR will be a win-win situation for us as well as our subscribers as they will be able to enjoy our services even in those regions of the state where we have no coverage. For the introduction of ICR, we will have to pay service charge to our rival operator.”

“We have already achieved a financial closure of Rs 700 crore for the roll out of 3G services and expect to launch these services by the third quarter of 2011-12”, he added.

S Tel which has a mobile subscriber base of 1.2 million within six months of launch of its operations in three circles- Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand and Orissa, has now decided to expand its mobile services to Assam next month and to the North-East circle by August this year. The operator currently has the license to operate in six telecom circles of the country.

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