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Only 8 telecom players will survive, says S Tel chief at launch news

India’s newest mobile operator S Tel yesterday launched its services in the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, and said it will spread its operations in the next few months to six category C circles of the country.

”After Himachal, we are soon entering Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and the North-east. With the number of mobile users to double by 2015, this is where the next wave of growth lies. Coming late, our advantage is advanced technology,” S Tel director P Swaminathan said while launching the service in Simla.

Executive officer Shamik Das added, ”The six growth circles with a population of 226 million people provide us a chance to deliver a tailored, relevant value proposition.”

Asked how many players among the 14 or more in the country will survive the highly competitive mobile market with tariffs still falling, Swaminathan said, ”I think barely eight players will survive in the long run.”

”The vision of S Tel is to be among one of the five top players by 2015,” he said.

Swaminathan said the company was looking at the bottom of the society as a target segment and had plans to span 50 cities and towns and 7,000 villages across Himachal Pradesh in just one month.

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