With the announcement of Reliance Jio’s plan of launching GigaFiber FTTH service in the country, the MSOs (Multi System Operators) in India are also allocating intense budgets towards their expansion strategy to defend themselves from upcoming competition. Fastway Transmission, which is one of the fastest growing MSO in North India has also announced that it will be pumping a whopping Rs 250 crore into its operations in the coming one and a half year for expansion and customer acquisition.
Answering to Television post, Peeush Mahajan, CEO of Fastway Transmission also spoke at length about the company’s expansion plans and how it plans to tackle impending competition in the sector. The CEO highlighted that although Fastway remains operational in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, its primary focus is going to be Punjab since Fastway has its own fibre network in the state. The company seeks to cover 100 cities this year and then 1000-1500 big villages further after that.
It is also notable that now Fastway has migrated to GPON technology while earlier it depended on DOCSIS technology. On being asked about Reliance Jio, Mahajan said “We are still awaiting more details on Jio GigaFiber. They have officially announced the service, but the pricing details have still not been revealed.”
The CEO is not too worried about the competition that is likely to spur in the coming days. Instead, he is of the belief that the coming of Reliance Jio in the industry is going to promote growth in fibre. He also said that installing extensive fibre services in the country is going to be a challenging task for Reliance Jio.
Mahajan further said about competition “Jio is talking about the urban market which just contributes 30% to our business. For us, the big growth area is rural areas. We have been focussing on the broadband business for the last two years because we knew someday somebody would come. The rural market is still untapped.”
It is also worth noting that Fastway’s net profit for FY17 has surged by 70% to Rs 75.48 crore compared to Rs 44.41 crore in the year before that. PAT margin also saw a spike of 13.56% opposed to the 8.46% which was the registered number in FY16. The company also recorded revenue growth of 6.18% to Rs 556.8 crore compared to Rs 524.39 crore in FY16.
For our readers who don’t know about Fastway Transmission, the venture was formed by the alliance of Gurdeep Singh and Digicable Network India in 2007. The MSO boasts of installing over 3.8 million set-top boxes (STBs) and leads more than 10,000 local cable operators (LCOs) and is active mostly in the North region.
It will be an interesting observation, in a scenario where Reliance Jio steps into the industry and how the MSO business reacts to it. Comment down your thoughts below about whether or not MSOs are going to receive a blow from Reliance Jio’s entry into the broadband market.