New Tel kicks off Australia-China service

Niche telco New Tel launched its service between Australia and China earlier this month, and is signing customers at the rate of 250 a day.

The service, a joint venture between Perth-based New Tel and Chinese government news agency Xinhua, expects to carry more than 116,000 minutes of traffic in its first month of operation.

This is likely to ramp up to 250,000 minutes next month, said Peter Malone, chief executive officer, New Tel.

Malone has said he would like to see the company achieve 25 per cent market share within its first 24 months of operation.

New Tel's model, Malone said, is to offer customers who call China frequently a competitively priced customised service, with bills and customer service available in Chinese and English.

The company has built gateway facilities in Perth and Sydney, at a cost of around $6 million, incorporating satellite earth station equipment and interconnect capabilities.

New Tel's cash flow has swollen to the tune of $10.05 million since shareholders exercised almost 100 per cent of their 33.5 million outstanding options last month, Malone said. This cash injection will be used to market the company's Australia-China service.

In other news, Malone told Computerworld that New Tel will port its mobile data product line to GSM, and is currently working to negotiate interconnect agreements to make this possible. New Tel's mobile data products are aimed primarily at the transport sector.

GSM capability will increase New Tel's opportunities with Australian small to medium transport enterprises which do not have their own radio networks, Malone said.

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