Cable TV

WWIL to pump in Rs 3 billion over 2 years in STBs

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MUMBAI: Wire & Wireless India Ltd. (WWIL), the demerged cable outfit of Zee Group, is planning to invest Rs 3.28 billion on set-top boxes (STBs) over a period of two years to spread its presence in digital cable.

This will comprise 46 per cent of its overall funding requirement of Rs 7.14 billion. The next big expenditure will be towards hardware. The multi-system operator (MSO) has earmarked Rs 2.21 billion for investments in hardware during the two-year period.

"We have planned such investments for two years. We are bullish about digitalisation," says WWIL CEO Jagjit Singh Kohli.

Another area where WWIL will be pumping in big money is customer acquisition. The company plans to put in Rs 1.14 billion towards this. "We are aggressive on customer acquisition. We have ramped up 250,000 subscribers in recent months through aggressive acquisitions," says Kohli.

WWIL has made MSO acquisitions in Lucknow, Shimla, Agra, Nagpur, Pune Jalgaon and Indore. It is under negotiations with 15 MSOs in places like Meerut, Allahabad, Jaipur, Noida and Kohlapur.

The company is planning to launch a headend-in-the-sky (HITS) platform and has booked transponders on Thaicom satellite. It has already lined up a debt of Rs 2.15 billion and plans to make an initial investment of Rs 5 billion.

WWIL recently set up a digital headend at Worli in Mumbai. "We already have nine digital headends," says Kohli.

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