The legal battle between the Department of Telecom (DoT) and S Tel the privately owned telecom company has now finished with the Delhi High courts new judgment on the disputed DoT notifications on cut-off date for granting telecom licenses with 2G Spectrum.
The Delhi high court has quashed the DoT notification fixing 25 September, 2007 as cut-off date for granting telecom licenses bundled with startup 2G spectrum. The High Court at the same time asked the DoT to consider telecom Company S Tel’s application to start GSM Mobile Service operations in 16 circles. Justice G S Sistani held that the DoT could not arbitrarily fix a cut off date for capping the number for licenses bundled startup spectrum and quashed the press note issued on 10 October, 2008 regarding this.
“The respondent has failed to satisfy the court as to how any public interest would be affected in the matter. The impugned press release dated 10, October, 2008 is quashed,” Justice Sistani said.
According to the S TEL sources, The Company is in advanced talks to outsource and deployment of its GSM network, technology requirements. India's privately owned STel Ltd. is planning to roll out its mobile phone services in the fourth quarter of this year (December-Jan).
S Tel has unified access services licenses (UASL) and spectrum to operate in six Indian states - Bihar, Orissa, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, North East and Assam. The company believes that with the population in these areas around the 230 million and mobile penetration less than 20%, S Tel can grow rapidly in these untapped areas. The company can also provide broadband services across the country as it has a Category A ISP license.
It was recently disclosed as we cited in our earlier post on Telecom Talk, that Subroto Roy's Sahara Group has picked up an 11.7% stake in S Tel. Earlier reports have also said that maverick investor C Sivasankaran is in talks to pick up a 51% stake in the company.