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2G Verdict Update: S Tel, Sistema & Telenor

– C Sivasankaran, Chairman of Siva Group which owns 51% stake in the telecom operator S Tel, has offered to surrender its 2G and 3G licences along with the infrastructure in a letter to the Prime Minister. This announcement comes after S Tel lost its licenses in in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, and the North-East, following the Supreme Court order. The operator had later announced its intentions to shut down its services in India and help its users switch to other operators. Read more at The Times Of India.

– Russian conglomerate Sistema, which operates in India as MTS, claims that its investments are protected by Indo-Russian Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), and has asked the Indian government to honor the treaty to protect its $3.1 billion investment in Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. (SSTL), the telecom joint venture with the Shyam Group. It also requested the government to settle the 2G dispute in the next six months, and is planning to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the cancellation of its telecom licences. Read more at The Hindu.

–  Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO of Telenor, said that he had met the Indian telecom minster Kapil Sibal to discuss the Supreme Court order but is still uncertain about Telenor’s future in the country. The company had earlier said that it would be forming a new entity with a different Indian company to transfer all the existing assets of Uninor to its new partner and participate in the upcoming auctions for fresh licenses. Its partner Unitech had however claimed that Telenor cannot transfer any assets of Uninor without its consent. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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