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Mobile rates to fall further: Bharti chief

Sunil Mittal said tariffs, including for STD calls, were likely to come down by 10-20 paise per minute.

business Updated: Dec 05, 2003 10:51 IST

Bharti Televentures chief Sunil Mittal on Thursday said mobile tariff in the country was likely to come down by 10 to 20 paise per minute airtime and the company was in talks with some banks for acquisition of firms in new circles after unified licensing regime comes in place.

"The rates could come down in the area of 10 to 20 paise per minute airtime including STD and long distance calls," he told reporters on the sidelines of a GSM Spectrum seminar in New Delhi.

Asserting that the sector would see a lot of action in terms of mergers and acquisitions by March next year, Mittal said the company was in talks with some banks over the issue but the plans could not be disclosed now.

On the issue of compensation for bringing in unified licensing regime, he said cellular operators had demanded Rs 17,000 crore but a reduced amount would also be acceptable.

Bharti was ready to start operating from six months of grant of licence, he added.

Terming four per cent spectrum revenue sharing as high, Bharti Chairman and Group Managing Director said the company had allocated about Rs 600 crore for taking over six new circles.

Asked about 3G, he said it would take about two-three years to arrive in India and asked TRAI to bring stability in the market.

First Published: Dec 04, 2003 18:49 IST