Pacific Convergence Corp, the satellite-delivered Internet service joint venture between Intel Corp and Pacific Century Group, appears to be close to announcing how it plans to begin transmitting its broadband content services this year. It also says its subscription content services will be complemented by a free Web portal similar to Ya hoo! that will be accessible by all Internet users, including non-subscribers, according to company executives. 'We'll be providing connectivity as well as being a content provider,' Pacific Century senior adviser Michael Johnson said. Pacific Convergence broadband services would grant T1 (1.5 megabits per second) download speeds to subscribers' throughout Asia and in parts of Europe. Mr Johnson said that by use of satellites and servers, the venture would offer faster Internet access than comparable broadband services, such as Cable & Wireless HKT's UltraNetvigator. Industry sources said Pacific Convergence would lease six C-band transponders on the recently launched AsiaSat 3S satellite, reportedly for US$13 million a year, to beam down its content. Mr Johnson declined to comment. Intel, which last week said it would provide set-top boxes capable of receiving the service, said users also would be able to access its broadband service through a variety of other devices, including mobile phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs). 'People will get some of our services without having a set-top box or having a computer,' Pacific Convergence chief executive Alex Arena said. The strategy should help Pacific Convergence capture tens of millions of customers within a few years, many of them from the already 100 million-household Asian cable television market, Mr Arena said.