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CAS in limbo, MagnaQuest shifts focus to East Europe, Africa

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MUMBAI: Sun Network-owned Sumangali Cable Vision, which was using its own developed software, has selected Hyderabad-based MagnaQuest Technologies to provide subscriber management and billing solution.

Sumangali will use the solutions for its conditional access system (CAS) and direct-to-operator (DTO) network. The deployment will go live this month.

"With Chennai being a CAS market, Sumangali decided to use MQSubscribe, our subscriber management and billing solution. We are integrating it with their Iredeto conditional access system. We are taking them live this month," says MagnaQuest Technologies regional manager of sales and marketing Rajiv Debbad.

But MagnaQuest has shifted focus to Eastern Europe and Africa, after realising that CAS will take time to take off in India. The company has made an entry in Bulgaria this year when it signed a contract with direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Interactive Technologies. Philips CryptoWorks is the CAS provider. MQSubscribe will also provide billing solution for the value-added services.

The company has also started marketing initiatives in Romania and Poland. "We realise there is a big opportunity in the markets of East Europe as the region is moving from analogue to digital systems. Also new DTH companies are coming up," says Debbad.

MagnaQuest has bagged initial orders worth over $1 million over the last six months. This includes four contracts - Interactive Technologies, Frontage Communication in Nigeria, Destiny Cable in Philippines and Sumangali. For Frontage Communication, the deployment was completed in May.

"The initial value of these contracts is worth over $1 million. But this will go up once these service providers scale up their operations," says Debbad.

In India, MagnaQuest has signed with InCablenet, Manthan Broadband Services, Cablecomm SpectraNet and Broadband Pacenet as the solution provider. "We thought India would develop as a big market for us. We already had a presence in the Middle East. But CAS failed to take off in India. Now we are looking at overseas markets," says Debbad.

MagnaQuest's strategy has been to become pre-integrated solution partners with leading CAS players like Nagravision, NDS, Conax, Irdeto, Viaccess and Philips CryptoWorks. "This has brought us greater credibility in the global market," say Debbad.

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