B4U Multimedia spins off new company B4U Broadband, seeks global alliances

B4U Multimedia International has spun off a new company B4U Broadband, which will be the vehicle for the company's broadband plans.

B4U CEO Ravi Gupta made the point clear while clarifying that B4U Multimedia International had not been wound up as reported in the press due to its association with arrested film financier Bharat Shah, a key promoter in the company.

Gupta, however, admitted that one reason for the creation of the company was because national broadcaster Doordarshan was reluctant to continue an association with a company part promoted by a man with alleged links to the underworld.

B4U Broadband will continue to provide the latest blockbusters to DD as per our earlier arrangement,'' Gupta confirmed.

Queried whether the Bharat Shah episode had hurt the channel, Gupta said actually revenues in January were better than previous months. "AS to whether they would have been even better without the arrest episode is speculative," Gupta added.

B4U Broadband will be the vehicle for a number of projects, including DTH, which the company is aggressively pushing through in the coming year, Gupta said. "For the DTH project we have calculated an outlay of Rs 5 billion and we are in talks with various prospective partners. We have to obviously keep in mind the government's insistence on the 20 per cent sectoral cap as well as foreign equity cap but we are seriously going ahead," Gupta said.

As to what other plans were on the anvil, Gupta said B4U was going ahead with plans for content delivery via the internet. He however ruled out B4U's getting into optic fibre cabling on its own. "We will be looking at collaborations with players providing such services", Gupta said.

"We are also looking at global alliances and towards that end we are in serious talks with British Telecom," Gupta said.

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