Companies

DEN Networks to roll out broadband plans

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The company has already started installing set-top boxes in digitisation phase 3and 4 regions. — K. Murali Kumar

After raising $160 million recently, multi-system operator DEN Networks is set to roll out its broadband plans, enter new territories as well as look at acquisitions.

“We hope to ramp up our subscriber base to over 15 million from the current 11 million subscribers in the next two phases,” said S.N. Sharma, CEO, DEN Networks. He said the company was waiting for the completion of phase 2 of digitisation before rolling out broadband plans. DEN expects to launch these plans bundled with cable subscription plans with speeds up to 70 mbps, which it has already tested, by Diwali which falls later this year.

According to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and industry officials, May 15 was the deadline for complete analogue signal switch-off in the 38 cities of phase 2 of the digitisation process. Multi System Operators (MSOs) are now gearing up for phases 3 and 4, which are aimed at complete digitisation by 2014-end.

Sharma said DEN would gradually install devices and support upgradation of fibre network till the last mile operator to be able to offer high-speed broadband.

“Consumers have little choice as far as broadband options are concerned. Also, we are already present in households, so it will be easier for us to bundle the broadband plans. With digitisation kicking in, the relationship between MSOs and local cable operators has become more formal and has created a stable structure. They are interested in earning additional revenues,” said M.G Azhar, COO, DEN Networks. He said this will help the company to offer value-added services such as ‘movie on demand’ to its consumers.

DEN will first launch its broadband plans in one city under phase 1 and another under phase 2, and then push its bundled offerings across other regions.

The company also plans to push high-definition boxes aggressively in the next four-five months as digitisation has opened more bandwidth.

On acquisitions, Sharma said the company was looking at opportunities in the unorganised regional space, adding that various models would evolve for inorganic growth under digitisation. “We could look at acquisitions, alignment of interest among other models,” he added. The company has already started seeding set-top boxes in phase 3 and 4 regions. Estimates suggest that while 30 million households got digitised in the first two phases, another 50-60 million could get digitised in the next one and half years.

>Meenakshi.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 23, 2013

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