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STel to bid for 3G spectrum, launches GSM services in H.P.
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S Tel Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Siva Group and Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), will bid for third generation mobile spectrum when it is put up for auction.

The company on Wednesday announced its plans to launch GSM mobile services starting with Himachal Pradesh. STEL will roll out services in Orissa, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East over the next few months.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr P. Swaminathan, Director, STel PVT Ltd, said, “ We will participate in 3G auctions whenever it happens, but we will select the circles where we want to be.”

2G investments

Meanwhile, the company is investing close to Rs 2,000 crore in rolling out its 2G services and is targeting 20 million subscribers by 2016 and EBITDA break even by 2013. In Himchal Pradesh, the company has launched two most preferred tariff plans which will charge the consumer 1 paisa a second or 50 paisa a minute - both for STD and local outgoing calls. Initially, the service is available on the pre-paid platform only.

“The six circles that S Tel is entering in, is where the next wave of growth lies. We are excited to be playing our part in the growth of this critical sector contributing to the country's economic growth and competitiveness,” Mr Swaminathan added.

S Tel has hired towers from almost all the players in the market and is using ZTE's radio equipment. For roaming services, the company had partnered with various other operators in each circle.

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