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S TEL-TO-LAUNCH-SERVICE-END-2009S Tel, a new telecom operator in the lndian marketplace, has acquired Unified Access Services License (UASL) and spectrum to operate in six Indian circles - Orissa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North East, Assam and J&K.  S Tel plans to commercially launch its mobile telephony services before the close of  this year.

Reliance Infratel and STEL have signed an end-to-end telecom infrastructure agreement for telecom towers, transmission for BTS sites and fibre backbone for intercity connectivity. Reliance Communications will execute this agreement through its tower subsidiary Reliance Infratel. S Tel’s agreement with Reliance Communications covers six circles - Orissa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North East, Assam and J&K where the telecom operator plans to roll-out its GSM services soon.

The scope of the agreement signed with Reliance Infratel will give S Tel access to Reliance Infratel’s wide network coverage of over 10,000 sites across these six circles and the extensive optic cable fibre backbone of Reliance Communications' pan-India telecom network.

This agreement will enable S Tel to rollout its commercial services with optimum cost and faster time-to-market advantage.  The infrastructure sharing agreement is an effective strategy of extensive cost savings while expanding or upgrading mobile networks.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Shamik Das, Chief Executive Officer of S Tel said, “This significant development is part of our overall commitment to provide customers with excellent quality of service and a wide geographical coverage at the time of launch.  It is well-established that improving teledensity provides more economic benefit than any other kind of infrastructure.  This move will enhance the mobile penetration in these circles and rapidly bring benefits of technology and communication networks to people in these regions.  As a new entrant in a dynamic market, this alliance provides us with key, strategic advantages that will ensure speed to market and cost-effective roll-out of services. We are pleased to partner with Reliance Communications and Reliance Infratel, which have an extensive capability as an integrated service provider across the telecom infrastructure value chain.”

Elaborating on the agreement, Mr. Inder Bajaj, President, Reliance Infratel said, “We are pleased to partner with S Tel through this win-win landmark agreement. This agreement reiterates Reliance Communications capabilities to enable the operators to go-to-market with a bouquet of telecom infrastructure services. This will ensure a faster rollout, optimum costs and a time to market advantage.”

Reliance Communications provides a unified approach with comprehensive telecom infrastructure sharing services including tower infrastructure, transmission connectivity to the telecom sites, bandwidth/ fibre options, domestic and International long distance carriage services, collocation of BSC & other core network equipments.  Reliance Infratel, a subsidiary of Reliance Communications, is India’s first nationwide passive infrastructure company offering plug-n-play facilities to provide mobile services across over 24,000 towns and over six lakh Indian villages. The next-generation technology-agnostic assets of Reliance Infratel include 50,000 telecom towers with over two lakh site tenancy capability and over 1.9 lakh kms of nationwide optic enabling transmission connectivity.

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