RealTime IT News

Pacific Internet, Asia Online Focus on India

Pacific Internet Ltd. agreed Tuesday to form a JV with the Hinduja Group and the Thakral Group in India as Hong Kong's Asia Online (HK) Ltd. simultaneously announced the opening of its India office.

Pacific Internet (PCNTF) and Thakral Brothers (Private) Ltd. (on behalf of the Thakral Group and In2Cable.Com (India) Private Ltd., a subsidiary of the Hinduja Finance Corp Ltd.) signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to provide broadband Internet access and data services for the Indian market.

The new joint venture company will be named Pacific Internet India Private Ltd.

Under the terms of the HoA, Pacific Internet and the Hinduja Group will each take a 37 percent stake in Pacific Internet India, with the Thakral Group taking the remaining 26 percent stake.

Details of the collaboration were not disclosed at press time.

"We can leverage on the cross-marketing, and last-mile broadband connections to Hinduja's huge combined base of 4 million direct and indirect cable subscribers" said Ko Kheng Hwa, chairman of Pacific Internet.

According to Quek Keng Ngak, group general manager, business development of Pacific Internet, India has approximately 20 million cable subscribers compared to an estimated 12 million telephone users.

The Hinduja Group is a global conglomerate operating in more than 20 countries and including India cable TV network, IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMC).

Hinduja Finance delivers Internet services using the cable networks of Hinduja Group's IMC to its four million subscribers. It has already started delivery of Internet services in Mumbai and is starting to provide trial services in Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

The Thakral Group is engaged in IT hardware distribution, software development and consultancy services. Pacific Internet offers Internet access and portal services in Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, and India.

In another release, Asia Online announced the opening of its Indian office after the acquisition of Web hosting company Fast Access Network (FAN) in Australia.

These follow Asiaonline's recent acquisitions of Internet companies in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysian late last year and early this year.

Asia Online is backed by Softbank, J.P. Morgan, GE Capital and other investors.