S Tel

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S Tel Private Limited
Industry Telecommunications
Fate License quashed by the Supreme Court of India
Founded January 2008
Defunct February 2012
Products GSM, GPRS, EDGE
Website stel.in/open/index.aspx

S Tel Private Limited was a GSM based cellular operator in India. It had unified access service licenses to operate in the circles of Orissa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North East, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir. It was owned jointly by C Sivasankaran (51%) and Bahrain Telecommunications (49%).[1] On 2 February 2012 Supreme Court of India quashed all 122 spectrum licences granted during the tenure of former communications minister A Raja. Six licences of S Tel were cancelled, and Batelco sold its share of S Tel. Batelco was the first foreign operator to cease operations in India following the 2G spectrum case. The sale was to be completed by the end of October 2012.[2]

At its peak, S Tel had operations in 5 Category C circles – Orissa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North East and Assam. The company was also in the process of launching its services in the northernmost circle of Jammu & Kashmir. These licenses enabled the company to provide Unified Mobile service, wireless broadband and innovative Value Added Services (VAS) covering a population of over 226 million across these circles. S Tel had approximately 3.6 million subscribers as of February 2012 just before the cancellation of its licenses and subsequent closure of its entire business.


STel won 2G licences in six circles in January 2008. The circles were Assam, North-East, Bihar, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.[3]

License quashed by Supreme Court[edit]

On 2 February 2012 Supreme Court of India quashed 122 spectrum licences granted during the tenure of former communications minister A Raja, including the 6 licenses granted to S Tel.[4] Supreme Court of India also imposed a fine of 50 lakh on S Tel.[5][6]

Batelco sells stake[edit]

On 8 February 2012, a few days after the Supreme Court ruling, Batelco sold its 42.7% share of S Tel to Sky City Foundation Ltd of India for 65.8 million Bahraini dinar (US$174.5 million).[7][8] Batelco's Group Chief Executive Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said in a statement, "BMIC Limited, a 100 per cent Batelco-owned subsidiary company, entered into an agreement, in the fourth quarter of 2011 to sell its 42.7 per cent stake in STel for USD 174.5 million to its Indian partner, Sky City Foundation Limited".[3] The sale was to be completed by the end of October 2012.[9]

Current status[edit]

S Tel services were no longer available in India following the cancellation of its six UAS licenses on 17 February 2012. On 29 February 2012 it was reported that S Tel boss Sivasankaran wrote to Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, demanding former's Rs. 1700 Crore investment while offering to surrender its licenses.[10]

There is a Tender Notice for Sale of Movable Assets on 9 December 2013 by IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd.


  1. ^ Dave, Sachin (20 June 2009). "Sivasankaran acquires control of S Tel". India Times - Economic Times. India Times. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Biswas, Rudradeep (2012-02-08). "Batelco Exits Scam Filled Indian Telecom Market, Sells of Shares in STel". Telecomtalk.info. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  3. ^ a b PTI (2012-02-09). "2G case: Batelco exits STel after SC order; sells stake for $175 mn - Economic Times". Articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  4. ^ "Supreme Court quashes 122 2G licences awarded in 2008". DNA. 
  5. ^ "2G scam: SC scraps 122 licences granted under Raja's tenure, trial court to decide on Chidambaram's role". Times of India. 2 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "122 licenses Cancelled". Money Control. 2 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Batelco to Sell STel Stake to India's Sky City Foundation - Deal Journal India - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  8. ^ "Batelco hangs up as SC blow hits home". DNA. 
  9. ^ "Batelco exits STel; sells stake for $175mn - Business Today - Business News". Businesstoday.intoday.in. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  10. ^ "2G verdict fallout: Return my Rs 1700 crore, S Tel boss Sivasankaran writes to Manmohan Singh - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 

External links[edit]