NTL opens Asia-Pacific HQ in Singapore

UK cable and interactive digital TV specialist NTL Inc last week opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters here, with the aim of making its mark in interactive TV-based communications services in the region, according to the company.

"We have amassed a great deal of expertise in the converging areas of broadcasting, telecommunications and information technology, and we want to take that expertise outside the UK," said Peter Douglas, group managing director of NTL Broadcast last week.

The company hopes to provide digital terrestrial TV infrastructure locally and in the region, and is in discussion with the Television Corporation of Singapore and Singapore Television Twelve as well as with Malaysia's Radio Television Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia and Malaysian satellite pay TV operator Astro, NTL said.

The UK company also expects to play a major role in the development of digital broadcasting in Asia, helping government bodies and broadcasters to understand and implement the converging market of multichannel TV, Internet, interactive services and telecommunications, the company said.

NTL's Singapore headquarters will oversee the company's existing offices in Thailand and Malaysia. The company also recently acquired the Australian National Transmission Network, with operations based in Sydney.

Singapore Cable Vision is currently the only cable operator in Singapore, and last year began a trial to provide fast Internet access through its nationwide cable network. The scheme has not yet been launched commercially.

Last week, France Telecom SA said it would acquire a $US1 billion stake in NTL as a way of both building up its market share in the UK telecommunications arena and supporting NTL's reported £8 billion ($A19.4 billion) bid to acquire the consumer division of Cable & Wireless Communications.

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