Primus launches 22c local call service

Primus has taken advantage of the ACCC's decision to allow Telstra's competitors access to the local loop, launching a 22c local call service.

Officially announced yesterday, Primus new service has been available to customers for the past 15 days.

Primus has combined its new local call offering with its long distance and International calls, Internet service and calls to mobiles to create a package called PrimusTotal.

How much of a share Primus will be able to gain in the $5 billion local call market will depend on the nature of its wholesale agreement with Telstra, said Primus officials.

Over the next few months Primus plans to extend its own network out to local exchanges, then access Telstras' copper lines which connect customers to local exchanges said Ravi Bhatia, managing director, Primus Telecom.

Until its network extension is complete, the carrier will resell Telstra services.

Speaking at an telecommunications industry lunch hosted by Primus in Sydney yesterday Bhatia said the impact of the ACCC's decision to allow competitors to connect to Telstra's was "unbelievably good in terms of the gains customers will make."

He also criticised the telecommunications industry in Australia, saying "The industry is becoming too litigation oriented. I fail to understand how a judge or a lawyer can understand our industry better than we ourselves can...We have to find ways to work with each other and resolve commercial differences...without resorting to litigation, without resorting to asking the government to intervene constantly."

"The most significant challenge we face in the industry is lack of communication between top managers in the industry," said Bhatia.

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