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Mobile newbie in cash pledge

New Delhi, Dec. 27: Telecom debutant S Tel today offered to pay Rs 13,752 crore as the share of its revenue over a period of 10 years, if the government agreed to allot letters of intent for all the 22 circles for which it had sought licences.

S Tel also assured the government that it would not increase tariffs beyond 30 paise per minute for the next 10 years.

The company is a joint venture between Mauritius-based Telecom Investments and India’s Skycity Foundations.

Skycity owns 51 per cent in S Tel and Telecom Investments, 49 per cent.

S Tel’s offer was higher than what it had stated earlier.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it had stated that it was willing to pay Rs 6,000 crore as its share of the revenue, over and above the Rs 1,600-crore licence fee.

The revised offer was made in a letter to telecom minister A. Raja, where S Tel said the amount would be payable after the government allotted 6.2MHz GSM spectrum for each of the 22 circles and allowed the sharing of active network and infrastructure.

The company said that in the event of any counter-bid or an auction of spectrum, it reserved the right to increase the bid.

“We believe that the present tariff increases are not due to economic reasons but because of cartelisation,” the company stated in its letter to Raja.

Forty-six companies have submitted 575 applications in response to the department of telecom’s call to offer cellular services.

On Monday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said mobile operators in the country have added 83.20 lakh subscribers in November compared with 80.05 lakh in the previous month.

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