Hathway ready to meet CAS deadline; invests Rs120-150m per city

MUMBAI: The Rajan Raheja owned multi-system operator (MSO) Hathway Cable and Datacom, in which Star India holds 26 per cent equity stake, has announced that it is ready to meet the 14 July CAS deadline. The company has invested between Rs 120-150 million per city in building conditional access related infrastructure.

The funding is being done from internal accruals.

While addressing an informal press meet in Mumbai, Hathway Cable and Datacom vice-president Neeraj Bhatia claimed: "We are fully geared up to do justice to our role as service providers that can deliver appropriate solutions to consumers. We also feel that we can deliver the solutions within the notified deadline of 14 July 2003."

However, Bhatia admitted: "Time is running out and the onus is on the broadcasters to quickly announce the prices of the individual pay channels."

Pointing out that this 'signal' from broadcasters will be a cue for the cable operators to approach consumer households and initiate the process of installing boxes, Bhatia added: "The process will also give us authentic on-ground data on the `demand estimation' process. Demand estimation is very important in this intermediate phase. Broadcasters must clearly spell out their pricing plans in order to enable us to commence the process of approaching consumers. The earlier they do it, the better."

Since the last two months, Hathway has started working closely with its technology partners and systems integrators such as NDS for backend technology; Mindport for billing systems; and Satyam Computers for software integration.

On 30 April 2003, News Corp technology arm NDS had announced that Hathway Cable and Datacom has selected its systems to launch the MSO's conditional access rollout.

NDS is acting as prime systems integrator and technology provider for Hathway's digital network upgrade and will also oversee integration of the set-top box, compression systems and subscriber management systems.

Also read:

Cable industry would do the trick: Hathway's Neeraj Bhatia

Future belongs to the consumer: Hathway's Neeraj Bhatia

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