InfoQuest disposes of ISP operation, aims for the telecom market

Information technology and aspiring telecommunications company InfoQuest yesterday transferred its 60-percent stake in Internet service provider Hellas on Line to the other shareholder, EFG Eurobank Ergasias, in a move which will allow it to focus more on its new field of activity. The sale, for an undisclosed sum, is subject to approval from the relevant authorities. InfoQuest acquired licenses for second-generation spectrum and fixed-line telephone services in December 2000 via its telecoms subsidiary Quest Wireless. Earlier this month, it said it expects to roll out telecommunications services in the first half of the year. The new sector is expected to have a negative impact on consolidated profits this year despite projected sales of 23 million euros, up from 15 million euros in 2001. Including the costs of the two licenses, InfoQuest expects to have invested 80 million euros in its telecommunications ventures by 2003. The company is banking on current IT customers to help it wrest market share from incumbents in both mobile and fixed telecommunications. Wants 5pct share InfoQuest aims to capture a 5-percent share of the mobile telephone market by 2004, while fixed-line corporate customers are expected to exceed 4,000. Hellas on Line, the third largest ISP in Greece in terms of revenues, has some 50,000 active household subscribers and more than 1,200 corporate clients. It competes with market leader OTEnet and second-leading company Forthnet. Eurobank said it aims to upgrade Hellas on Line following the full takeover of the company.

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