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News Digest: S-Tel, Indian Army, Aircel, GTL Infra, Tata-Quippo, Bharti Infratel, Ambika Soni

S-Tel To Roll Out

New telecom operator S-Tel, which has licences in six circles -Bihar, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and the Northeast is readying for rollout, and looking to raise Rs. 2000 crore to be used over the next 2-3 years. While the promoters have brought in the equity capital of Rs 1,253 crore, the remaining will be sourced from eight public sector banks led by IDBI. (More on Business Standard)

Indian Army’s Website

The Indian Army has launched a new portal at Indianarmy.nic.in, with security enhancements. The old one – Indianarmy.gov.in – remains standing and both are superficially identical.

Ambika Soni On Press and Registration of Books Act

The minister for information and broadcasting has announced she would expedite amendments to the Press and Registration of Books Act of 1867 to include provisions on FDI including Syndication, Facsimile Edition and Indian Edition of Foreign Publications. The Rate Structure Committee report will also revise DAVP advertisement rates.

Aircel Shortlists GTL Infra, Tata Quippo and Bharti Infratel

A month after entering into a infrastructure sharing agreement with government owned telecom provider BSNL to allow Aircel access to 45,000 towers across 21 circles, the new telco has shortlisted tower companies GTL Infrastructure, Tata-Quippo and Bharti Infratel for a potential $2-billion sale of its tower business. (More on VCCircle)

In August, it was learnt that American Tower (in India through XCEL Telecom), Bharti Infratel, Tata-Quippo and Crown Castle International were being considered by Aircel as potential buyers for a part or the whole passive network infrastructure it owns.  The Maxis-owned operator was previously in talks with Tata-Quippo for selling its 12,000 towers, estimated to be worth about $1.5 billion. Unitech Wireless, another new telco, is leasing towers from Tata-Quippo.

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