SingTel to offer International telecom to Hong Kong

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) is the latest company to take advantage of the Janaury 1 opening of the Hong Kong telecom market with plans to compete directly in international voice-telephony services there.

SingTel has bought an International Simple Resale (ISR) license for $HK410,000 ($US53,000) and will begin international direct dial services (IDD) in Hong Kong in June, using a 1500 access code, the company announced recently.

SingTel will invest about $S5million ($US3.2 million) in equipment and human resources over the next year to provide this service, the company said. SingTel's office in Hong Kong currently serves multinational corporations by offering business services including managed data network, frame relay, Internet protocol (IP) and fax services.

SingTel's previous experience in running a promotional campaign for a new IDD service will let the company compete effectively in the Hong Kong voice-telephony market, according to SingTel president and CEO Lee Hsien Yang.

City Telecom Hong Kong (CTI), another competitor in the Hong Kong market, said it is preparing to lower its IDD rates in the run-up to tomorrow's deregulation. Under its new IDD1666 promotion, rates will fall to as low as 66 Hong Kong cents (8 US cents) per minute for international calls.

Hong Kong's telecom market is more deregulated than Singapore's, which will not see competition in basic services until April 2000.

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