WWIL to focus on digitisation & acquisitions

MUMBAI: Wire and Wireless (India) Limited plans to invest Rs 1 billion this fiscal if the government announces the roadmap for digitisation.

The multi-system operator (MSO) expects to seed 400,000 digital set-top boxes (STBs) and add digital head-ends, while continuing to fund acquisitions.

The investment requirement in case of a normal year would be Rs 400 million, allocated mainly towards digitisation and small-sized acquisitions. WWIL in such a situation would seed 200,000 STBs in the full-fiscal ended March 2012.
“Our focus will be on digitalisation, acquisitions and launching of new services for our customers that will give us healthy ARPUs,” said WWIL chief executive officer Sudhir Agarwal, while declining to comment on the company’s investment plans or growth targets.

How will the acquisitions be funded? “This will be through internal accruals. Acquisition will be done on a case to case basis, considering synergy, strategic and long term goals,” said Agarwal.

So where is WWIL going to expand through acquisitions? “We are focusing on strategic acquisition of primary subscribers and also on partnership models. We have planned and are committed to increase our footprint across the country especially in West & South,” said Agarwal. 
WWIL is expecting its carriage revenue from broadcasters to grow by 25-30 per cent this fiscal. In FY’11, the MSO had earned a carriage income of around Rs 1.8 billion.

“Carriage will remain a significant contributor to the overall revenue of the company. We expect to see a growth of 25-30 per cent in carriage this year,” said Agarwal.

The company targets a 30 per cent growth in revenue this fiscal, crossing the Rs 4-billion mark.

What is WWIL’s broadband plan? “We are currently more interested in the wire line sector of broadband especially in Eastern & Northern part of the country. Going forward, the focus will be on the wireless segment of broadband,” said Agarwal.

WWIL posted a consolidated operating revenue of Rs 3.06 billion in FY’11, up 12 per cent from the earlier year,, while net loss narrowed to Rs 659.2 million.

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