StarHub to Distribute Concert Services

SINGAPORE (03/28/2000) - Singapore-based telecommunications consortium StarHub Pte. Ltd. will distribute the full suite of network services offered by the Concert joint venture when it formally begins operations here on April 1, StarHub announced yesterday.

Some Concert services are already available through incumbent operator Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel), but newer services will be exclusive to StarHub for the moment, StarHub said in a statement.

Concert is a joint venture between AT&T Corp. and British Telecommunications PLC (BT) which offers integrated voice, data and Internet services for businesses, a market which StarHub is keen to address as it starts to compete with SingTel in the newly deregulated market here.

BT also owns 18 percent of StarHub, with other partners being Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (NTT), Singapore Technologies Telemedia and Singapore Power Ltd.

The Concert data services include frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), and managed bandwidth services with global management. Voice products include virtual network service, a global corporate voice VPN (virtual private network), and an international call-center service. The Internet portfolio will encompass Internet access and VPN services.

These new services will be offered in addition to StarHub's local wireless and international voice and data services, StarHub said in the statement.

StarHub has already made its aggressive intentions clear. In December last year, it introduced Singapore's first free Internet access service, which attracted 180,000 subscribers in two months -- equivalent to 40 percent of the existing subscriber base.

Earlier this month, StarHub signed an interconnect agreement with rival mobile phone operator MobileOne Asia Pte. Ltd. (M1), and it will offer WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) services to its subscribers from April 1.

It has also been running a pre-launch registration program under which subscribers get 50 percent discounts on international calls for the month of April.

With four days left before Singapore's telecommunications "Big Bang," the liberalization of its services market on April 1 (see "Singapore Speeds Telecom Liberalization," January 21), several new operators are rumored to be planning to enter the market. Among those expected to announce plans soon are local ISP (internet service provider) Pacific Internet Ltd., Dutch operator Equant NV, France Telecom SA's Global One subsidiary, and local cable operator Singapore Cable Vision Pte. Ltd.

StarHub can be reached at +65-880-5167 or online at http://www.starhub.com.sg/.

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