Fastway grows cable TV, broadband biz through inorganic route

MUMBAI: Multi system operator (MSO) Fastway Transmissions is expanding its cable TV and broadband businesses by venturing into new territories.

Fastway is entering Navi Mumbai through a partnership with Digi Navi Mumbai, which is a part of Jagjit Singh Kohli-promoted Digicable Network India. Incidentally, Kohli also holds a substantial stake in Fastway.

In broadband, Fastway-owned Netplus Broadband has acquired the Delhi and North India operations of Pacenet Broadband, which is again a part of Digicable Network India.

This is the first time Fastway is venturing into a territory outside North. It is the dominant MSO in Punjab and has a presence in many Northern states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir.

“We are entering the Navi Mumbai market through a partnership with Digicable. We will have an understanding with Digicable as far as stake acquisition is concerned. The other partners in the JV will retain their shareholding,” Fastway Transmission CEO Peeush Mahajan told TelevisionPost.com.

He further added that Digi Navi Mumbai has a gross subscriber base of 100,000 of which 50,000 are active subscribers. On the other hand, Pacenet Broadband has a very minuscule presence in Delhi and North India.

The acquisition of Pacenet Broadband’s Delhi and North India operations will allow Netplus Broadband to make a full-fledged entry into the highly-fragmented Delhi market. Netplus has a strong presence in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Pacenet is Class ‘A’ Internet Service Provider with a nationwide presence. Pacenet offers its Internet services with extensive use of fiber in the network infrastructure. Pacenet serves thousands of home subscribers and many leading enterprise customers. Pacenet is currently offering High-Speed Internet Broadband Service, Internet Lease Line for Corporate / SME and Co-location services.

Speaking about the acquisition, Netplus Broadband CEO Prem Ojha said that this move is a part of our strategy to achieve business growth inorganically.

“We have our service presence in 125 cities across 6 states and this acquisition will extend our market presence and penetration in quick time. The combined company’s network will deliver broadband speeds up to 1 GIGA,” he added.

The Acquisition will empower Netplus in delivering converged services that includes Hi-Speed Broadband, Smart Voice, OTT & IPTV services in the region. We shall offer our complete range of Retail & Enterprise Services in the region at affordable prices, he added.

As reported earlier, Fastway Transmissions’ net profit for the fiscal ended 31 March 2018 has fallen 33% to Rs 50.47 crore as against Rs 75.48 crore in the previous fiscal.

PAT margin had dropped to 8.96% compared to 13.56% in the previous fiscal. The company’s revenue in FY18 has increased by 1.16% to Rs 563.16 crore compared to Rs 556.8 crore in the year-ago period.

The MSO has over 10,000 local cable operators (LCO) partners and has installed over 38 lakh set top boxes (STBs) in Punjab and other states. Fastway was set up as a joint venture (JV) between Gurdeep Singh and Digicable Network India in 2007.

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