Telecommunications - Venezuela

Intercable to Launch Telephony in Caracas Nov.

Intercable to Launch Telephony in Caracas Nov.

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Venezuelan cable TV operator Intercable plans to launch broadband and telephony service in capital Caracas in November, spokesperson Carolina Goicochea told BNamericas.com.

Intercable already offers telephony in the cities of Barquisimeto, Maracaibo, Valencia, Maracay and Merida.

By year-end the company will have invested US$250mn to expand its network to Caracas and next year will invest US$50mn to enter the eastern ports of Puerto La Cruz and Puerto Ordaz by mid-2002 and end-2002 respectively, Goicochea said.

Intercable has agreements to use the ducts of third parties such as the country's largest telco Cantv (NYSE: VNT) and power company Electricidad de Caracas to build out its network.

Intercable, a subsidiary of US-based investment group Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, is Venezuela's largest cable TV operator, covering 60 cities with 1.2 million home passes.

The company now has 300,000 users with a 57% share of the cable TV market, competing with Supercable, Cablevision, Netuno and DirecTV. It billed US$30mn in its last fiscal year.