Asian telecommunications carriers form lobby group

A number of telecommunications carriers operating in Asia have formed a group called the Asia-Pacific Carriers Coalition (APCC) aimed at promoting open market policies and improved regulatory frameworks, the group said in a statement Wednesday.

Members of the group, which is based in Singapore, include AT&T, BT Group, Cable & Wireless, Deutsche Telekom's T-Systems division, Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications Holdings, MCI, Pacific Internet, and StarHub.

According to APCC President Joe Welch, most Asian telecommunications markets are still dominated by their former local monopoly carrier, and steps taken towards liberalization have not yet created competitive markets or unrestricted and reasonably-priced access to key facilities.

A fully competitive market will yield greater choice, lower prices and significant improvements in quality and innovation. But markets dominated by an incumbent are often characterized by stagnant service quality and pricing and by lack of innovation, APCC said in the statement.

The group will focus on developing markets such as India and China as well as more advanced markets like Japan and Singapore, according to the statement.