HTMT invests Rs 650 million for digital cable

MUMBAI: Hinduja TMT is focussing on digital cable TV for expansion and has made investments of Rs 350 million towards this over the last four months.

The company is pumping in a further Rs 300 million for purchase of digital set-top boxes as it plans to launch digital service in new cities. HTMT currently offers digital cable TV in Mumbai and Delhi.

"We have put in around Rs 350 million since December and have ordered for fresh set-top boxes which would cost us a further Rs 300 million," says the company‘s director-in-charge Ravi Mansukhani.


IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL), which houses the consolidated cable and media businesses of HTMT, is also planning to launch digital cable TV service in Bangalore. "We have installed a digital head-end in Bangalore and would start testing soon," says Mansukhani..

The service would be extended to Mysore later with a hook up from the Bangalore digital head-end through the fibre optic route, he adds.

The other cities earmarked for digitalisation are Ahmedabad and Baroda. "We plan to have a digital head-end in Ahmedabad and link up Baroda through fibre optic. We have already upgraded the network and once Bangalore stabilises we will launch in these cities," says Mansukhani.


IMCL is looking at alliances with cable TV operators to expand in new territories. While it will offer support to cable networks for digital rollout and set-top boxes, operators can take exclusive care of their analogue business. "All our expansion will be on the digital side of the business," says Mansukhani.

Hinduja TMT Ltd, which has 63 per cent stake in IMCL, has started trading again after spinning off its ITES-BPO functions into a separate company. The company holds cash of Rs 5.11 billion and owns a 47-acre property in Bangalore. It has a paid-up capital of Rs 205.3 million and networth of about Rs 5.87 billion as on 31 December 2006.


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