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S Tel asked to stop mobile services
Published on 7 Mar. 2010 12:07 AM IST
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The department of telecom (DoT) on Friday issued a terse communiqué to new telecom company S Tel, a joint venture between Chennai-based Siva Group and Bahrain Telecom (Batelco), directing it to immediately stop its mobile services in the circles of Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa, citing national security concerns, stated Economic Times. S Tel holds licences for six circles, but so far has launched services only in these three circles and has a little over 800,000 customers. Top executives with the mobile firm expressed shock about the DoT directive and said that the telco launched services only after getting all requisite permission from the government through DoT letters dated 11 December, 2009 and 21 December 2009. “We have not been given any reason or explanation and S Tel has followed all procedures and got the necessary approvals. We have sent our reply to the DoT and asked them to provide further details on the security issue,” said P Swaminathan, director of S Tel and president of Siva Group. “This will impact over 8 lakh mobile users. The government must provide us with details to sort it out as anything concerned with national security is a major issue,” he said. This also marks the first instance of the communication ministry asking a company to stop services immediately.

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