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You Telecom joins WiMAX bandwagon

Vinay Umarji  |  Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 

After BSNL, Aircel and other operators, now Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI)-owned You India Pvt Ltd plans to offer wireless internet services through the WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access)
Earlier known as Iqara Broadband owned by British Gas, the company was acquired by CVCI in June last year and named as You Currently into telecom, internet telephony and gaming, the company plans to expand its services.
Speaking to Business Standard, chief executive officer, E V S Chakravarthy, said, "In the next six months, we want to expand geographically and in terms of services. We are in talks with Malaysia-based Maxis Communications to provide us the wireless internet Initially, we will offer the services for the SME sector and later move on to enterprise and residential use."
With a subscriber base of 1,40,000 in 11 cities including Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Chennai, the company plans to move into other cities simultaneously.
You Telecom offers internet services under the brand name 'You Explore', internet games under 'You Play' and internet telephony under 'You Call'. Chakravarthy said the company was also planning to launch video telephony in the near future.
He, however, expressed concern over the high costs of instruments for the same.
"We want to offer the video telephony services to our existing customers but are yet to go ahead with the instruments which cost around Rs 17,000. We are hopeful, with increase in volume, the prices might go down in future," he said.
For the WiMAX technology, the infrastructure would be provided by Maxis, which owns Aircel, South India's one of the leading telecom operators. Aircel's Aircel Business Solutions has its own WiMAX networks in cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, Chakravarthy was unable to quote the amount of investment that would go into rolling out the wireless internet services. However, for video telephony, he said a total investment of Rs 360 crore was expected in the initial stages.
Recently, Bennett, Coleman picked up 5 per cent stake in You Telecom.

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First Published: Wed, March 07 2007. 00:00 IST