Latest Moblie Player, S Tel Launches Services From Himachal


Low tariffs target pre-paid customers, eye number portability

Shimla: Targeting a subscriber base of 1 lakh in three months S Tel, the newest GSM mobile player made its intentions clear as it launched operations in the country from here, to be around when the competition gets more intense over the next five years.

Speaking at the launch P Swaminathan, director S Tel “we have come prepared for the competition, knowing that there are already eight mobile companies operating in Himachal.” Battle ready with the network starting out from 500 towers sites, he said, “no other player big or small has offered such a large coverage area in the state on the day it was launched.” All the towers are EDGE enabled, which would permit a better browsing platform than the traditional GPRS system, he said

For a war chest, S Tel has an equity base of Rs 1250 crore and achieved the fastest financial closure with an loan of Rs 950 crore from IDBI bank. Swaninathan said, the company would price wise be competitive, will rely on better coverage and are geared to provide better service, especially to the pre-paid subscriber who is at the receiving end elsewhere.

Retaining all key areas of the network like brand operation, customer, distribution, Balwinder Chawala, COO, Himachal and J & K in his presentation said “to be cost effective other operations like towers have be outsourced on a sharing basis or through strategic partnerships. IT services providers to the network are Tech Mahindra,” he added.

Banking heavily on the number portability that is likely to come into effect over the next three months, the newest mobile telephony player has an aggressive tariff plan simplified down to just 1 paisa per second and 50 paisa per minute for both local and pan India calls.

“The IP based network has the advantage of using the latest technology, which would enable us to adapt to newer technologies as and when they become available,” said Swaminathan.

Spread out over four zones Shimla, Baddi, Kangra and Mandi, the management claimed to have in place a coverage of 50 census towns, 705 non-census towns and 7,3 00 village across nine districts of Himachal. Other than the districts of Chamba, Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti, the service has been made available in all other districts.

Besides, Himachal the network is scheduled to start operation in other category C states of Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, North East and Jammu & Kashmir soon. In these states, which the company termed as growth states, the management targets to corner about 15 percent of the market share by 2015.

“For Himachal, where we launch services today, the target is to have 1 lakh subscribers over the next three months,” said Chawala.

S Tel is a joint venture between Siva Group (formerly Sterling Infotech Group) and BMIC Limited, a subsidiary of Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco). While Batelco holds 49 per cent stake in S Tel, Siva group holds 51 per cent stake. Over the next fortnight, STel is scheduled to launch services in Bihar and Orissa.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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5 Comments

  1. says: Neeraj Tyagi

    One more minnow all set for its countdown – the merger at last with a giant.
    It is interesting to have one more telco player in a low cost market but I wonder how long this under-debt Bahrain investor manage to sustain his investment for this operation. Hehehehe lolzzz.
    One lakhs in three months as a add-on, always been a day dreamer for a company (even for a established one).
    But Mr. Chawla or Mr Swami or say…. Team STel in HP, you should better understand this fact in winter all the prosperous belt of the state always under the extreme climate which means no business. We would appreciate your sense, if you could have consulted someone before making this statement. I can along with would-be readers/browers can only laugh at your pic aligned with story. Heheh
    Would eager wait for COAI figure in March 2010
    Wishing you all the best team STel. Lolzzz
    Neeraj Tyagi

  2. says: Tarun Manta

    Hi Readers,
    I slighly subscribe from the abovesaid viewpoint on small telcom players knocking indian doors (that too, small circles like HP, Orrisa, Bihar, JK…. what we call C Category Circle in telecom circle) No doubt Indian market would be flooded with lot many global and domestic telecom players but surely not for long run.
    In case, STel, Yes, Bahrain investors are pumping a huge amount of money in this indian telecom scenario but experts in telecom feels ongoing under debt situation in middle east can have bring tough time for coming time.
    One more intresting observation, six month old this company never bother to update its website. If any of the STelian going through this forum, now make his e-presence.
    Good Luck STel. May your dreams to beat Airtel come true. 🙂
    Thank You
    Tarun Manta, Shimla

  3. says: Devinder Sood

    @Neeraj : So what…. one lakh in three months in big deal.
    I am sure company would following the funda of “already sim activation”, they if they have the pressure on the sales team along with distributer. ha ha.
    Jeo STel…..
    I hope vigilence deptt would keep a track on STel’s modus operandi to meet their targets..
    Boy… think not once, twice not even thrice but numerous time before you lay a statement in corporate.
    Devender
    [email protected]

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