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Tatas mull acquisition of broadband company

NEW DELHI, FEB. 4. With a view to leading the broadband revolution, the Tata group is mulling acquisition for which it is now conducting due diligence of an Indian broadband company.

"We are doing a due diligence of a broadband company in India which has a broadband subscriber base of 30,000 customers...Once we make an acquisition, we will have a starting point in the broadband arena," Kishore Chaukar, Managing Director of Tata Industries, said addressing Supercomm India 2004 here. He, however, declined to identify the broadband company.

Listing out the needs for the telecom sector especially broadband, he said, "It will be through sharing of infrastructure by players. We cannot afford to have 5-10 networks". He said that unbundling of the last mile was also necessary, and added, "the last leg of the regulation should happen sooner than later". He said the Tata group managed Videsh Sanchar Nigam's undersea cable from India to Singapore would be commissioned by September this year. "It would have a capacity of five terabits," he said but did not indicate the investment pumped into the project.

Gene Delaney, Executive Vice President of Motorola Inc., said the potential of Indian telecom sector was `awesome'. "The government's policy has helped in facilitating growth and upgrading infrastructure. The unified services licence has started to propel growth in the telecom sector," he said.

PTI

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