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WorldSpace puts on hold ISP business

10-April-2002
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WorldSpace puts on hold ISP business

WorldSpace Corporation has put its Internet service provider (ISP) business on the back-burner. The company admitted that it was facing a severe shortage of radio receivers and, hence, had frozen its marketing and advertising initiatives.

The company had received the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s clearance last year to launch its ISP subsidiary, Above Cable.

According to company sources, BPL had suspended manufacturing receivers for the time being and is now all set to introduce its own flagship receivers in May.

BPL had manufactured 2,000 receivers, which was an adaptation of one of the existing models, in September 2001. It has since then stopped manufacturing such receivers and is now working on its own flagship model.

Above Cable was planning to tie up with cable operators. Unlike other ISP models, Above Cable network could be accessed without telephone lines to download sites as data would be fed through cable operators who could access them through cash servers located at their offices.

Above Cable would download these sites directly from WorldSpace satellites on to the cash servers.

Customers could then either download these sites on to their television sets or to their PCs.

WorldSpace plans to invest around $25 million for marketing and expansion over five years, of which it has already pumped in around $4.5 million. WorldSpace has tie ups with Asianet through its new outfit, RM Radio, VRG Space Radio based in Chennai, and All India Radio for relaying their services. With each of these groups, the company has signed lease agreements for three years.

Currently, WorldSpace has 24 channels in its bouquet of services of which 8 channels are owned by it.

Source: Business Standard

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