Fastway signs pact with Cisco for digital STBs

MUMBAI: Fastway Transmissions, the cable distribution company with foothold in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, has signed a pact with Cisco to deploy over two million next-generation digital set-top boxes (STBs) over the next two years.

Fastway MD Gurdeep Singh said, “Unlike direct-to-home players we do not charge our consumers upfront for set-top-boxes. The cost is recovered over multiple years. Cisco Capital has helped us with a great financing option that matched our cash flows."

Cisco said that it is one of the largest cable digitisation projects in the country, and that its STBs comes at an “affordable price point” with an “optimum feature” set to suit Indian preferences.

Fastway, a major player in Punjab and Haryana, believes it can up its subscription revenue through interactive services. With the new STBs, Fastway can enable services like residential TV, HDTV, gaming, digital video recording, video on demand and future ‘connected home‘ services to retail consumers.

Fastway CEO Peeush Mahajan said, “By utilising Cisco‘s next generation digital set top box, we can enhance the quality of our services, curb piracy and increase our subscription revenue by offering a plethora of innovative and interactive services giving us the competitive edge over direct-to-home players. Cisco‘s technology leadership and their understanding of the complexities of the cable distribution business helped them cement this deal.”

Cisco India and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) senior VP, Service Providers Sanjay Rohatgi said, “Today‘s consumers want their television viewing to be personal, social and an interactive experience. They want content to be delivered anytime, anywhere and on any device. Digitisation opens a huge opportunity for cable service providers to monetize investments, and evolve as ‘experience providers‘. I am happy that Fastway has taken a pioneering role in ushering digitisation and I look forward to a long standing relationship with them."

Cisco‘s cable digitisation solutions provide scaling and operational cost optimisation benefits that cable operators need to transition to a digital platform, apart from being able to take advantage of Cisco Capital‘s leasing and finance options.

Fastway plans to provide broadband services and is currently working with universities and institutes in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to offer educational services.

Cisco Asia Pacific director video architecture Vish Iyer added, "With Cisco‘s Connected Home Solutions portfolio, Fastway can evolve from a cable distribution company to a lifestyle-experience provider by enabling services like residential TV, HDTV, gaming, video on demand and broadband services to retail consumers. We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with Fastway in offering its consumers tailor-made entertainment and services that suit the regional tastes and preferences."

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