Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dialog TV

Sri Lanka's Dialog Telekom picks up cable operator CBN Sat

November 27 2006 (LBO) – Dialog Telekom, the island's biggest mobile phone operator, Monday announced plans to acquire satellite pay television operator Communiqu Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd and CBN Sat (Pvt) Ltd for 532.8 million rupees.
A unit of Telekom Malaysia, Dialog said the acquisition is subject to the telco completing a share sale and purchase sale agreement with both parties.

The acquisition of 100 percent of both firms' share capital, will be carried out through Dialog's subsidiary, Asset Media (Pvt) Ltd.

Dialog bought Asset Media for 325 million rupees in October, and indicated plans to use its radio and television frequency license, to rollout a host of infotainment services ranging from television to mobile phone services.

A greenfield operation, Asset Media also comes with its own broadcasting studio, a free-to-air and pay television license. "The acquisition of CBN/CBNSAT is expected to provide Asset Media with cutting edge DTH (direct to home) Satellite Pay TV infrastructure and strong portfolio of Content partnerships, in addition to a healthy base of Pay TV subscribers," Dialog said in a statement.

Dialog said it plans to pay for the acquisition through internally generated cash. The digital convergence, also known as quadruple play or four-play, allows Dialog to offer cable television, broadband, fixed-line and mobile telephone services.

Earlier this year, Dialog moved into the broadband market by picking up a network operator MTT. Re-branded as 'Dialog Broadband', MTT also had a license to offer CDMA (code division multiple access) services or cheaper fixed line telephone services by using mobile technologies.
Dialog's CDMA operation, is due to start next January.

In August, Dialog became the first in South Asia to commercially launch third generation mobile services or 3G, giving customers the facility for high speed web browsing, video streaming, online games, music and movie downloads.

Sri Lanka, which became the first South Asian nation to start mobile services, when Celltel Lanka began operations in 1989, now boasts over 4.28 million subscribers, according to Central Bank figures.

Dialog Telekom, dominates the industry with over 3 million subscribers, followed by Mobitel Lanka, Celltel Lanka Ltd, Hutchinson. The telecom regulator is in the process of selecting a fifth operator.

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