You Telecom scripts Rs 700 cr spread

Last Updated: Thu, May 22, 2008 05:31 hrs

Citigroup-owned broadband service provider You Telecom plans to invest Rs 600-700 crore over the next 12 months to take its presence from the current 12 cities to 26.

It will also expand its cable TV operations. The company recently picked up a majority stake in a new joint venture company, Scod 18 Networking Pvt Ltd, to become a multi-service operator and take on players such as Hathaway and Datacom.

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Scod 18 is looking to have a footprint covering almost 25% of Mumbai in the first wave and will invest over Rs 100 crore over the next two years to expand services.

E V S Chakravarthy, CEO - broadband business, You Telecom said, "This is an interesting model and we are looking to similar partnerships in other cities and already talking to operators in several states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat."

Earlier, the company had picked up a 50% stake in Bangalore-based Digital Infotainment for an undisclosed consideration through subsidiary Digital Outsourcing, which offers cable services under the Digivision brand.

Digital Outsourcing provides state-of-the-art digital cable services including enhanced quality TV transmissions, electronic programme guide and synopsis of the programmes, apart from user determined programme menus. It kicked off digital cable services three months back and currently has a subscription base of over 40,000.

You Telecom kicked off video services over broadband in Bangalore, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam and plans to start in Hyderabad soon. The video services are available under three different plans – Near video on demand (VOD) under which a subscriber can request through SMS a video screening on his terminal; Impulse VOD where he can choose a picture from a menu; and on a monthly subscription basis for Rs 300.

"Within the next three months, we are looking to introduce the entire basket of services in all the 12 cities where we operate currently," said Chakravarthy.

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Meanwhile, You Telecom has kicked off You Snapper, a 50:50 JV with Malaysian internet service provider Jarin to provide last mile Wi-Fi connectivity in gated communities.

It rolled out in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune recently and has an installation base of 800. The JV will invest $15 million over the next two years to add more cities on the Wi-Fi network, said Chakravarthy.

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