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GTPL Hathway’s outlook for the broadband business

MUMBAI: Multi system operator (MSO) GTPL Hathway expects subscription revenue from broadband business to be equal to the subscription revenue from the cable TV business in the future.

Currently, cable TV business is the mainstay of the company contributing a bulk of the revenue. Hathway Cable and Datacom, which is a major shareholder in the company, has already seen its broadband revenue outpace the cable subscription revenue.

GTPL Hathway chairman Rajan Gupta, who is also the MD of Hathway Cable and Datacom, sees equal potential from cable and broadband businesses.

“So I see in future the time will come and GTPL will have cable subscription and broadband subscription as equal, so that is a kind of endeavour we are all together working on,” Gupta told analysts.

GTPL Hathway MD Anirudh Jadeja said that the company plans to roll-out GPON FTTH in four cities in Gujarat by the end of fiscal 2018.

Gupta further informed that the GPON FTTH rollout has already started in approximately 100,000 home passes in Ahmedabad City.

To support minimum 40 Mbps speed for all consumers and 200 GB monthly limit for all consumers, the company also upgrading backend fiber ring to 40 GB capacities for Ahmedabad City.

“The NOC equipment from Nokia has already come and deployment is in progress. We have upgraded some existing consumers from 5 Mbps 30 GB package to 40 Mbps 200 GB package by charging Rs.200 extra,” Gupta stated.

Currently, market leader BSNL is offering average speed of 5 Mbps on the same pricing. “Essentially what 40 Mbps 200 GB pack, which we have done a POC. Market leader BSNL is charging the same pricing for a 5 Mbps speed,” Gupta noted.

Gupta is confident that GTPL will see an exponential increase in broadband revenue and subscriber additions from December.

“So, as we start offering more GB and higher speed to the consumer now, GTPL also will see in the next one year or so the average consumption will increase by 100 GB per consumer so that consumer is very sticky,” he added.

In Q2 FY18, GTPL’s net profit from broadband business had grown 7% to Rs 3.9 crore from Rs 3.7 crore. EBITDA increased 10% to Rs 9.2 crore from Rs 8.4 crore. Total revenue had increased by 4% to Rs 33.1 crore from Rs 31.8 crore.

The company had added 40,000 new Home pass in the broadband business. It also added 10,000 broadband subscribers to take the total base to 0.26 million. ARPU remained flat at Rs 487. Data Consumption per customer stood at 46 GB/month as on Sept 2017 increasing from 34GB/month in December 2016, a jump of 35%.

Talking about the cable TV business, GTPL Hathway head investors relations Piyush Pankaj said the total Capex for the quarter ended 30 September was Rs 78 crore with Rs 17 crore going into broadband and Rs 61 crore going into the cable side. In the previous quarter, the capex was Rs 88 crore with Rs 8 crore going into broadband and Rs 80 crore going in the cable.

GTPL is planning to seed another half a million set top boxes (STBs) in the second half of the fiscal.

“We will seed 1 million, so this quarter we already seeded half a million customers, so coming March exit will close to another half a million customers,” Pankaj said.

Talking about Nagra’s TVKey deployed by the MSO, Jadeja said the company partnered with Samsung and NAGRA under which subscribers can watch 4K content on new Samsung TV without a 4K set top box (STB).

“Samsung is now launching in Gujarat market it is called HD TV with GTPL TVkey, so there is no need of local set top box, they just need to buy only TVkey from GTPL side and to connect their actual TV Samsung HD TV television so they can watch 4K content, also they can watch high definition content also, they can watch standard definition content also,” he stated.