Bahrain Telecommunication (Batelco) has decided to leave India following Supreme Court’s decision to revoke all 122 License issued during A. Raja’s regime, making it the first casualty of the historic decision.
Batelco is Indian partner of S Tel, who has license to offer Voice services in 6 circles, namely Assam & North East, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar & Jharkhand and Orissa, and had 3.6 million customers as of December. Also it has 3G license in the states of Bihar & Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh & Orissa. Batelco will sell its 43% stake in S Tel to Sky City Foundation Limited for $175 million, the same price it paid at the time of acquiring this stake, thereby making no loss or gain on its investment.
S Tel has now become the first operator in India whose foreign partner has left after Supreme Court decided to cancel 122 license issued in 2008. Other operator like MTS, Uninor are expected to stay but we might see exit of another foreign investor, Etisalat, the partner in Etisalat DB because they have failed to launch full-fledged service till now.