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Batelco Funded S Tel Lauches GSM Operations; Indiatimes; Per Second Billing

Decreasing ARPU and hostile market conditions are no deterrent for telecom operators in India. After Uninor rolled out services in 7 circles simultaneously, earlier this year, Batelco owned S Tel has announced the launch of its GSM services in India, starting with the Himachal Pradesh circle.  S Tel Pvt Ltd is a joint venture between Siva Group (formerly Sterling Infotech Group) and BMIC Limited, a subsidiary of Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco). The company plans to make its service available to 60 percent of the population of Himachal Pradesh by the end of the year. Compared to many other telcos, S-Tel has a GSM license only for 6 circles: Orissa, Bihar & Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, North East and Himachal Pradesh. Not surprisingly, though, expecting number of mobile users in India to double by 2015, P. Swaminathan, Director, S Tel and President, Siva Group says that the next wave of growth lies in the six circles S Tel has licenses for. (By Preethi) Bihar has been one of the fastest growing C-class cities for mobiles in India, so that will be S-Tel's racehorse. J&K might prove to be a tough circle with sale of prepaid cards being halted by the government. For GSM license in the remaining 16 circles, the company is in litigation with the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the case is being heard by the Supreme Court. Tariff Plans: Per Second Billing, 50 Paisa Going with the flow, S Tel has announced two billing plans: per second billing, which is something…

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