Hathway Enters Net Telephony

Mumbai: | Updated: Oct 22 2002, 05:30am hrs
Hathway Cable Internet, part of Hathway Cable & Datacom, has tied up with Net Magic to launch its Internet telephony services called Net Talk. The Rajan Raheja-owned cable network will pay a transfer price to Net Magic for the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) solutions. Hathway will charge an entry price of Rs 5 per minute from its subscribers for making calls to the US, Canada, UK and Singapore.

We have a non-exclusive tie up with Net Magic. Our lowest price of Rs 5 is for those markets where we expect most traffic to drive our Internet telephony business, said Hathway Cable & Datacoms general manager-commercial Jayant R Changrani. He, however, did not disclose how much Net Magic would be paid per minute call. The price per minute call is Rs 15 for the Middle Eastern countries while Japan, Korea and Hong Kong will cost Rs 8, Rs 7 and Rs 6 respectively. The company is also in talks with international carriers for routing the calls.

We want to have the flexibility of having multiple service options. We do not want to take the route of certain service providers who have adopted the bulk minutes to one carrier model. This will enable us to further reduce the prices for our customers, said Mr Changrani.

Hathways first focus will be to cater to its 40,000-strong cable Internet online user base while it formulates a strong business plan to retail customers. The growth will depend on the traffic that we are able to generate. We are looking at 100,000 minutes of call a month before we plan out a growth plan. Currently, the VOIP services will complete our Internet service bouquet, he added.

The company will soon offer cable modem with inbuilt IP devices. We are currently conducting tests. With a cable broadband infrastructure in place, we have the advantage of installing a substantial number of IP devices in corporates and cyber cafes across all locations, said Mr Changrani.