New T&T Hong Kong has gained access to China Telecom's fibre-optic network in Mainland China, opening up new services opportunities for one of Hong Kong's aggressive carriers.
The deal will give New T&T much greater capacity to handle traffic into and out of China and will let the company bypass Hong Kong's sole international gateway operator, Cable & Wireless HKT.
A statement announcing the deal yesterday reflected New T&T's high hopes that the recent US-China pact on China's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will lead to exploding demand for telecommunications services on the Mainland.
According to New T&T, the deal will open the door to broadband and customised corporate data services it will be able to offer across the border. The deal will also help the company provide less expensive calls to China, enhancing its competitiveness against incumbent carrier C&W HKT and against other competitive providers.
New T&T will link its local fiber-optic infrastructure, which the company said is Hong Kong's largest, with China Telecom's fibre by the beginning of 2000. Earlier this year, New T&T also joined a consortium that is building a transpacific submarine fiber-optic cable.
The company was among the first competitive carriers to leap into Hong Kong's market when the government began taking steps toward deregulation.