Pacnet ups stake in JV, applies for long distance licences (Lead)

March 24th, 2009 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Hong Kong-based telecommunications major Pacnet Tuesday said it has increased its stake in its joint venture with FutureWorld India to 74 percent and will shortly apply for international long-distance (ILD) and national long-distance (NLD) licences.
“Together with our joint venture partner, FutureWorld, we have further capitalised Pacific Internet to support our network roll-out in India after receipt of ILD and NLD licences,” Pacnet chief executive Bill Barney told reporters here.

Pacnet received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) three weeks ago to increase its shareholding in Pacific Internet from 55 percent to 74 percent and to apply for long distance licences.

“We look forward to obtaining the letter of intent from the Department of Telecom and will apply for it next week,” Barney added.

Barney also hoped that India, which contributed about 10 percent or about $70 million to Pacnet’s 2007 global revenues, would account for about 25-30 percent of global revenues in the near future.

The company logged $500 million as global revenues in 2008.

Upon approval of the necessary licences, Pacnet will offer its full suite of network services including direct internet access as well as managed services.

Pacnet currently offers internet services in six Indian cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon and Hyderabad and is planning to add two more.

“We are looking to acquire both telecom infrastructure companies and internet service providers in India,” Barney said adding that his company was also looking at acquisitions in Japan, China and Australia.

Barney said the company would invest about $10 million initially for the network roll-out.

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