3G services in Himachal: S-tel to invest 700 crores in 3 circles

Shimla: Telecom operator S-Tel, which bagged 3G licenses in the recent spectrum auctions across India today announced its plans to invest Rs. 700 crores to roll out 3G services in Himachal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand circles.

The company plans to raise Rs. 338 crores through a 1:1 debt to equity ratio towards license fee payment for the three circles of Himachal Pradesh, Bihar & Jharkhand and Orissa. The debt is already tied up with Indian nationalized banks via a bridge loan and the company is set to meet the timelines stipulated by DOT.

Commenting on the acquisition of the licenses, Mr. Shamik Das, Chief Executive Officer, S-Tel said “Our business strategy is aimed at making benefits of mobility accessible to a large section of society in the six growth circles. Despite being a new operator which has launched services in India in the last six months, we had aggressively bid for 3G spectrum and won licenses in three circles.

He also said “We view 3G technologies as important elements for advancing socio-economic development, bridging the digital divide that exists in certain regions especially where tele density and Internet penetration is low. Strategically, our investment in 3G spectrum is targeted at being ready for all future services. Our network is compliant with third generation standards and we are well geared to keep pace with the adoption of this technology.”

In November 2009, S-Tel achieved financial closure for its Rs. 2000 crore telecom project and was the first amongst the new operators to do so.

Last month, the company became the fastest mobile operator in India to clock the 1 million mark in ‘C’ circles, having achieved the milestone in just 90 days of operations.

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