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Data Access charts $ 30m expansion programme

New Delhi, Oct 3 (PTI): International long distance operator and internet service provider, Data Access, today said it would invest about $ 30 million for expansion in the next five months, and claimed its revenues would touch $ 350 million by September 2003 from about $ 24 million at present.

“We have invested about $ 70 million till date in our overall business. We would invest another $ 30 million between now and March 2003,” Siddhartha Ray, managing director of Data Access, a joint venture between Hong Kong-based PCCW and SPA Enterprises of India said.

The amount would be invested in new switches and infrastructure, he said, adding that additional investment would be supported by a mix of internal accruals and promoters’ contribution.

Ray said that Data Access was looking at increasing its revenues to $ 350 million for the year ended September 2003, from $ 20-24 million clocked during the year ended September 2002.

“The growth would be primarily driven by the voice business. Of the projected $ 350 million, as much as 92 per cent would be voice and the balance would be combination of video and data.”

Asked if the growth targets were too optimistic, Ray claimed, “Even now we are carrying four million minutes and we expect this to increase to 10 million minutes. The growth targets are realistic based on the current position.”

He said that the company would predominantly target inbound traffic. Ray said of the $ 20-24 million revenue notched by the company during 2001-02, only about $ 5 million came from the data business.

Elaborating on the future plans of the company, he said Data Access would launch pre-paid international calling cards in the October to December quarter, although this would be primarily wholesale. He said the company had no plans to go public at present.

In the long-term, Data Access would also look at acquisitions for carriers, Ray said, but did not give a timeframe.

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