Broadband Pioneer Brings Innovative Services to Asia

Imagine Broadband, Formed By Accenture In Early 2000, To Deliver Leading-Edge Interactive Broadband Communications Services Now Operating In Hong Kong

HONG KONG, November 29, 2000 - Imagine Broadband Ltd., the first company to take interactive broadband digital TV services out of the laboratory and into the homes of thousands of paying cable TV customers in Europe, today announced the opening of an office that will bring the same innovative services to Asia.

Imagine Broadband Ltd.-Asia, will develop, customize and license interactive, multi-media digital TV and various broadband products for this new and developing market. Products such as enhanced TV applications and provisioning systems for Internet Protocol (IP) and Voice Over IP (VoIP) services will be available to cable TV operators and communications service providers throughout the Asia Pacific region.

London-based Imagine Broadband Ltd. (IBL) was formed earlier this year by Accenture, a leading global management and technology consultancy. Imagine Broadband is backed by Accenture and its venture capital unit, Accenture Technology Ventures.* In addition, Imagine Broadband’s first customer, Telewest Communications, one of the UK’s two largest cable operators, is a minority shareholder in IBL.

Imagine Broadband marked an industry milestone late last year when it completed development of the world’s first operational and scalable broadband interactive digital television platform over cable.

This system currently delivers services such as interactive shopping, games, videos, Web TV and email access over Telewest’s cable TV network in the UK. The platform also delivers true video on demand to 30,000 live customers, the largest commercial offering of video on demand to date.

“In this highly competitive industry, many other companies are also developing creative ideas for new services and products,” said Imagine Broadband CEO Arjang Zadeh. “What differentiates us is the implementation and operational process. To date, Imagine Broadband remains the only company that has successfully implemented and delivered these products and services in an operational and scalable offering, allowing clients to derive revenue immediately upon installation.”

Imagine Broadband - Asia will develop, customize, and license innovative services and solutions to cable television operators and broadcasters, telecommunications carriers, wireless and satellite operators, as well as providers of interactive programming and Web TV content.

A study released this month by Accenture concluded that digital TV represents an enormous and growing opportunity in the Asia Pacific and could help put the region at the forefront of the development of digital TV into the next wave of eCommerce.

A number of factors contribute to the region’s high potential, including higher rates of TV penetration than any other region in the world, and a substantial and growing broadband subscriber base already in place in some markets, according to the study.

Other success factors present in the region include, extensive cable TV networks in some countries, a favorable regulatory climate, the availability of satellites to meet demands for increased bandwidth, a youthful population willing to embrace new technologies and businesses that are ready and willing to develop digital content.

Imagine Broadband, currently the leading provider of broadband and interactive digital TV solutions for major telecommunications and television broadcast companies in Europe, plans to expand rapidly into the Asia Pacific and later into the U.S. marketplace.

Zadeh said teams and infrastructure are in place to build on Imagine Broadband’s successes to push forward into areas such as wireless broadband to the home, music pay-per-view and interactive advertising. “We aim to be the premier provider of the most innovative products and the leading integrator of platforms for the broadband market place globally,” he said.

*Note to Editors: On January 1, 2001, Accenture will change its name to Accenture. At the same time, the firm will change the name of AC ventures, its venture capital unit, to Accenture Technology Ventures.


Jill E. Posnick

+1 (917) 452 4947