Reliance Communications, one of India's leading telecom players, on Tuesday said it would invest Rs 160 billion for the expansion of its network in the current fiscal (2007-08) and also launch its direct-to-home (DTH) television network by the end of this year.
"Reliance Communications will invest Rs 16,000 crore (Rs 160 billion) in this fiscal to further expand and strengthen network," chairman Anil Ambani said in Mumbai during the company annual general meeting.
He said the company will start DTH services by the end of this year and said it could venture in the BPO space as its IT and ITeS SEZ in Mumbai had received the government's nod.
He indicated plans to unlock value in its wireless tower business, through a private placement of its equity to a select group of institutional investors to be followed by a public listing of its shares.
"Reliance Communications will unlock value in Flag Telecom through private placement of equity and international listing of shares before the year-end," Ambani said.
However, there were no announcements about expansion plans in the GSM or CDMA segments.
The company's total revenues have seen a 126 per cent rise from Rs 107 billion ($2.66 billion) to Rs 144.6 billion ($3.58 billion).
"We crossed the Rs 10,000 million ($247.70 million) mark in net profit in the last reported quarter of FY 2007. It took Infosys over 13 years, and Bharti over five years to achieve Rs 10,000 million of profits in a single quarter. We achieved this milestone in our first year of listing," he said.
There will be also an emphasis on deploying wireless WiMax networks in the top 10 cities in India, launching the company's direct-to-home (DTH) television network as well as its premium multi-play IPTV or Internet-based TV services over its fibre Ethernet network.
The company also announced its other initiatives that are in the pipeline, which includes deploying its network on 8,000 towers to be put up by BSNL to make inroads into rural areas, as well as capital expenditure to build and install over 23,000 new towers.