SingTel Opens Fiber-Optic Link to Vietnam

SINGAPORE (03/06/2000) - Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) has opened a direct digital submarine cable link between SingTel and its Vietnamese partner, Vietnam Posts & Telecommunications Corp. (VNPT).

The link is intended to provide SingTel's 30 corporate customers in Vietnam with better quality end-to end telecommunications services such as leased circuits, frame relay, Internet protocol and intranet services, SingTel said in a statement issued Friday. SingTel expects the number of corporate customers to double by the end of this year.

The Singapore-Vietnam submarine cable link is part of the larger SEA-ME-WE 3 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe) cable system that was completed in December 1999. SingTel is one of the investors in SEA-ME-WE 3, the world's longest and largest-capacity submarine cable network, which cost a total of US$1.5 billion.

Inaugurating the link, SingTel President and CEO Lee Hsien Yang said the company would continue to seize new opportunities both in Singapore and globally. Contrary to popular market belief, full liberalization of the telecom market in Singapore does not sound the death knell for SingTel, he said in the statementFrom mid-April 2000, SingTel will open a "carrier hotel" to provide newly-licensed telecommunications service operators in Singapore with secure, redundant, and scalable accommodation to house their telecommunications equipment. SingTel will invest S$9.4 million (US$5.45 million) in the 9,000 square-foot carrier hotel.

SingTel has embarked on numerous Internet initiatives including the SingTel Internet Exchange, which is Asia's largest outside of Japan, serving more than 40 regional ISPs (Internet service providers) in 24 countries. SingTel has also formed joint ventures with Commerce One and Lycos, and is jointly developing broadband Internet and wireless businesses in Asia with News Corporation.

But following the failure last week of its attempt to acquire a majority stake in Cable & Wireless HKT Ltd., SingTel does not yet have a formal alliance with any major telecommunications companies or groups.

SingTel can be contacted at +65-838-2740 or at http://www.singtel.com/. VNPT can be found online at http://www.vnpt.com.vn/.

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