labels: cable and broadband, nasscom, hathway cable and datacom, it features
Cable is the best way to homes, says Hathwaynews
Venkatachari Jagannathan
24 December 2002
Chennai: In terms of footprint, the Rajan Raheja group company Hathway Cable & Datacom is the largest among all the cable Internet service providers (ISP) in India. It has rolled out its Internet operations in six cities — Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad, all known centres for software development.

The company is also one of the largest multi-services operators (MSOs) with a presence in nine cities — Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Nashik, Ludhiana and Vijayawada — wiring 3 million homes.

The MSO has a clutch of entertainment channels like Cine Channel, a movie-based entertainment channel; ITV, a dial-in interactive music channel, and local news channels in Mumbai, Nashik, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

But, due to the non-compete agreement signed with another MSO, Sun Cable Vision (SCV), part of the Sun TV network, Hathway Cable has temporarily shut down its cable TV operations in Chennai. Like Asianet Satellite Communications, Hathway Cable, too, was initially a joint venture company.

In 1998 the Rahejas bought out the Business India group’s stake in the company. Curiously, two years ago, it again became a joint venture outfit with Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV, by acquiring 26-per cent stake in the company for $75 million.

“This alliance will see the launch of enhanced and digital interactive TV all across the country, enabling the subscriber to access world class broadband services and hi-speed Internet on their television sets,” says Karthik Bhaskaran, head, sales, marketing and customer services, south India.

According to him, the highest growth for cable ISPs is in Bangalore. “The strong presence of software-related workforce looking for broadband access is the main reason. Hathway Cable is getting around 150 enquiries daily and the conversion rate is quite good.”

Meanwhile, the company has decided to invest Rs 3 crore in its Chennai operations for expanding its “apartment” business (connecting different flats in a complex using a router). The company entered the apartment segment some time ago. Currently, this segment constitutes 5 per cent of the company’s total business.

In all the cities it is present, Hathway Cable is wiring up the upmarket residential areas where the personal computer penetration is high. Of late the company has decided to link up commercial areas. In Chennai, Hathway Cable is wiring up commercial establishments located on Anna Salai, Anna Nagar and Kilpauk.

On the infrastructure side, Hathway Cable has joined hands with two Tata group companies to share their optic-fibre network. Hathway Cable will use around 200 kms of Tata Power’s fibre-optic backbone in Mumbai. In Hyderabad the Internet service provider will use Tata Teleservices’ network.

Bhaskaran says: “Hathway Cable has not only retained but is enlarging its base in large numbers. There are many routes into the home. Our strength is to leverage our existing cable TV link. ”

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Cable is the best way to homes, says Hathway