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Telecom Roundup: BSNL-Tariffs; Spice’s Net Worth; Voda-$2 bn; RCOM-Bhutan

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[with inputs from Cerius Shah]

— BSNL has decided to reduce tariffs for leased line Internet ports by up to 33 percent, which might result in a reduction of Internet access costs. A one mbps connection will now cost ISPs Rs. 5.1 lakh, down from Rs. 8.5 lakh. Whether this reduction in costs is passed on to consumers remains to be seen. Targeting educational institutions, BSNL is also offering a 20 percent discount for lines with bandwidth less than 2mbps, and 40 percent with more than 2mbps. More at the Hindu.

— Some issues over Spice Telecom’s net worth remain. Seeking eligibility to operate in 22 circles, they have claimed a net-worth of Rs 1,254 crores, reportedly by including the net-worth of all companies that hold stake in it, including the Modis, Telekom Malaysia and a third called Super Infosys. Super Infosys according to the DoT, doesn’t even hold equity in Spice – hence is allegedly a spurious claim. The government has now rejected their application on the grounds of furnishing false financial details. More at ET. We had reported earlier on Spice moving TDSAT over DoT’s refusal to give it a pan-India license and had followed that up with them contemplating a Dubai listing, apparently to raise net-worth to qualify.

— Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) plans to invest $2 billion in India this year, in a bid to add more customers. They’re targeting 100 million subs in India by 2010, and may get approval to start operations in Madhya Pradesh soon. More at Bloomberg.

— Reliance Communications is planning to offer broadband services in the kingdom of Bhutan, and is in negotiations with Bhutan Telecom for a partnership. Apparently they’re considering both retail and enterprise services. Bhutan has around 32000 fixed lines, over 82000 mobile phones and 30,000 Internet lines. More at Business Standard

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