ACT Fibernet to expand into more cities; play in gaming to boost business

New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) ACT Fibernet Thursday said it will expand its services in three new cities and is firming up plans to ramp up its play in the gaming segment as the Internet services provider looks to offer a differentiated experience to customers.

The company, which has about 2.5 million cable and broadband subscribers, has also revamped its brand identity with a new logo. Its broadband services are available in 16 cities in India currently.

“We have recently started our services in Madurai and Warangal, and in the next 3-6 months, we will expand into Lucknow, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. Setting up infrastructure takes time as optical fibre needs to be laid down…We do not want to be seen as a regional player and will be present across India, especially the big cities,” Atria Convergence Technologies CEO Bala Malladi told PTI.

He added that the company’s capital expenditure was to the tune of about Rs 800 crore in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

ACT offers cable, broadband and enterprise services. It had filed a Draft Red Herring Prospectus in March, 2018 and has recently received all approvals. It now has a year’s time to bring out its initial public offering (IPO).

Asked if Reliance Jio’s fixed-line fibre broadband service would impact its business, Malladi answered in the negative.

“I don’t want to comment on competitors. It is important to remember that there is a huge opportunity in the Indian market. The penetration of fixed-line broadband is about seven per cent, so there is a big opportunity,” he said.

Malladi said the company is also aggressively expanding offerings for its broadband customers by forming alliances with content providers.

“We have partnerships with HOOQ, ALT Balaji and others, and are bringing on other players like ZEE 5 and Sony Liv on our platform as well. We want to give choice to our customers and are offering special bundled plans to our users,” he said.

Malladi said another area of focus going ahead will be gaming.

“We have seen strong usage of our services in the gaming community. We are in discussions with various players in the ecosystem like console makers, gaming titles publishers, gaming cafes etc to bring these to this growing segment of gaming enthusiasts,” he added.

Malladi said the company will also expand its footprint of WiFi hotspots across Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru and offer the service in Delhi in the coming months as well.

ACT Fibernet – which has over 4,000 such hotspots – aims to take the number to more than 5,000. The company is also jointly working with various state governments to enable free WiFi connectivity in public libraries and schools.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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