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Satyam Info limited access may cost more

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CHENNAI, April 17

SATYAM Infoway Ltd is looking at the option of increasing the prices of its limited access package. It has increased the prices of unlimited access packages by over 60 per cent from April 1.

"At the current price, we are not even meeting the variable cost, and we lose Rs 4-5 per hour," the company's CEO and Managing Director, Mr R. Ramaraj, told newspersons here today. "With every subscriber addition, we are losing money. We are bleeding on the ISP (Internet service provider) side, and we need to increase the price soon," he added without giving a timeframe for the increase.

If the Internet telephony usage was good, and brings better realisation, the company may not increase the prices. The company was also looking at the option of whether basic service providers like Bharti would offer a revenue-sharing arrangement with the company. "BSNL did not offer such an arrangement. However, if private players offer such an arrangement, we would think about the price rise," said a company official.

On ILD (international long-distance) service, Mr Ramaraj said the company has a letter of intent (LI), but has not changed it to a licence. While the licence would cost Rs 25 crore, the total cost for starting the ILD service would be Rs 100-125 crore including equipment. The LI was valid till June, and the company needs to decide where to put the resources on ILD or elsewhere including back into the same business, he said.

According to Mr Ramaraj, the company's focus this year was to see reduction in the bandwidth cost, become profitable in each business and meet the variable cost.

While the market expects a 40-50 per cent reduction in the bandwidth cost, the company expects the reduction to be around 30 per cent, he added.

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