Telstra, PCCW reach into Singapore market

A joint-venture company formed by Australia's Telstra Corp. and Hong Kong-based Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. (PCCW) has received a facilities-based telecommunication license to operate in Singapore, Telstra said in a statement Monday.

The company, known as Reach, is a 50-50 joint venture between PCCW and Telstra.

The license allows Reach to connect to its own cable capacity in Singapore through the SEA-ME-WE3 and APCN2 cables, and to offer wholesale bandwidth and data services to its planned customer base of carriers, service providers and ISPs (Internet service providers), Telstra said.

Reach will develop its Singapore operation as a regional gateway Point of Presence (POP) in Southeast Asia by offering direct bandwidth connectivity to neighboring countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The main focus will be on international business rather than Singapore's small domestic market, Telstra said in the statement.

Reach was formed from the international carrier backbone businesses of PCCW and Telstra, and is one of three joint ventures between the two companies agreed on last October.

A second PCCW-Telstra joint venture company, the Regional Wireless Co., is thought to be considering a bid for Singapore's second mobile phone operator Mobile One Asia Pte. Ltd. (M1), whose shareholders have put it up for sale.

The third joint venture between the two carriers is in the Internet data center business.

Despite the general gloom in the telecommunication industry globally, and the financial woes being felt by PCCW in particular, Telstra has frequently restated its commitment to the joint ventures over the past few months.

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