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October 25, 1995

LONDON-BASED HINDUJA FAMILY AIMS TO PUT INDIA ONTO THE INTERNET, CABLE NEW DELHI FOR TELEVISION

By CBR Staff Writer

The Hinduja family, which is perhaps more well known for its recent truck-making activities than for telecommunications and entertainment services, is now planning to connect India to the Internet. Ashok Hinduja, president of the Hinduja Group of Companies, told Reuter he planned to invest around $1,000m in the project. His company will also launch a cable television distribution system that can broadcast 99 channels simultaneously in New Delhi. Subscribers to the cable network will later be able to use it for telephony, video conferencing and cable shopping. India already has a cable network, launched in May, that now broadcasts 32 channels to around 700,000 households in Bombay. It was set up by IN Network which has a 550MHz cable system, shortly to be upgraded to a 1GHz fibre optic trunk system. IN Network is promoted by IndusInd Media & Communications Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between InduSind and the Hinduja group. The family plans to complete its cabling operations in 26 cities by the end of next year. Despite its poverty, India has attracted major international broadcasters including Walt Disney, Turner Broadcasting and NBC who plan to launch channels aimed at the country’s 900,000 population. Rupert Murdoch’s Hong Kong-based Star TV and Ted Turner’s CNN News can already be seen in the country. Hinduja said he also plans to satellite television.

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