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December 4, 1995

NATIONAL TRANSCOMMUNICATIONS HAS NO PLANS FOR 1996 FLOTATION

By CBR Staff Writer

National Transcommunications Ltd has insisted it has no plans to float in 1996. The Winchester, Hampshire company said the rumour was sparked by the recent sale of its Advanced Products division to News International Plc. Although flotation remains one of the options in the medium term, the time scale has not been set. News International will rename the newly acquired company Digi Media Vision Ltd. The purchase, for an undisclosed amount, was made through News Technology Group, the technology arm of News Corp Pty Ltd. The NTL Advanced Products division’s key product is the System 3000 video compression system, developed in house, which uses MPEG 2 compression to increase the capacity available from each satellite transponder. Transcommunications said it decided to sell the division partly because of the huge investment needed to develop the business. It also wants to focus on its core services business. It was an investment we didn’t want to make. The best chance for the technology was to be part of a bigger organisation. Transcommunications sees itself as a service organisation rather than a products manufacturer, it said. In 1994 Advanced Products was 10% of Transcommunications’s turnover and ‘it was rocketing this year. Transcommunications, the Winchester-based privatised engineering arm of the UK’s Independent Broadcasting Authority signed a binding development agreement on digital television systems with News International at the time of the sale. The agreement calls for Digi Media to continue development of the OFDM digital television transmission systems technology pioneered by Transcommunications which it plans to use to develop a digital terrestrial network. Transcommunications’ primary business now is transmission of television, radio broadcasts for ITV and Channel 4 and several independent radio stations. It has a satellite uplinking business and a terrestrial national network for speech, video and data in the UK, and is currently migrating its network to optical cable from microwave.

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