Hutchison rebrands to Orange

Following in the footsteps of parent company Hutchison Whampoa's successful Hong Kong and UK subsidiaries, local subsidiary Hutchison Telecoms will rebrand to Orange later this year.

The company is also well on track with the development and rollout of its CDMA (code division multiple access) network.

Speaking at the Australian Telecommunications User Group (Atug) Now99 conference last week, Barry Roberts-Thomson, managing director of Hutchison, said the company will rebrand all its products and services by the end of the year.

This follows the successful rebranding to Orange of Hutchison Whampoa's mobile service in Hong Kong last year, he said.

Roberts-Thomson also said the company was expecting to complete the installation of switches into its technical centres in Sydney and Melbourne last week.

Test traffic will begin passing over the switches at the end of May, with the network completed during the second half of this year.

"It is our intent some service will be progressively available as our network rolls out. Our full commercial launch, with complete coverage and functionality, is scheduled for the first half of 2000," Roberts-Thomson said.

Last year, in a $58 million investment, Hutchison acquired 10MHz in the 800MHz range in Sydney and 5MHz in Melbourne for the establishment of its CDMA mobile network.

According to Roberts-Thomson, Hutchison has no plans to diminish its long-distance, GSM, messaging, or Internet services with the introduction of CDMA.

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