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NEWCALL Granted Singapore Licence


For Immediate Release

NEWCALL Granted Singapore Licence In First Wave Of Telecommunications Deregulation


New Zealand Based Telco One of Only Ten To Be Awarded A New Services Licence

AUCKLAND, 29 March, 2000 - NEWCALL Group Ltd is one of only ten telecommunications companies in the world to be awarded a Services-Based Operator (SBO) Licence by the Singapore Government. The first round of licences to be granted for the new deregulated market valued at more than NZ$5 billion per annum take effect from 1 April. In a ceremony in Singapore today NEWCALL was awarded the licence by the Singapore Minister of Telecommunications Mr Yeo Cheow Tong. NEWCALL is the only New Zealand based telco in the list of successful applicants which includes key global telecommunications players.

According to NEWCALL’s Managing Director Norman Nicholls, the Singapore Government adopted strict merit-based criteria in the granting of licenses. “The government agency responsible for the granting of licences, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), evaluated applications on such factors as the ability to deliver service and infrastructure, as well as commitment to quality of service standards,” he says. “To be awarded a licence in the very first round is recognition of our solid performance to date as an innovative telco here in New Zealand.”

“We are and will remain a New Zealand based telecommunications company,” explains Nicholls. “Our growth locally has been spectacular, with a 50 per cent increase in revenues this year alone, and we are on target to meet our operational forecasts, achieving profitability before the end of the year.”

“NEWCALL was established in the deregulated New Zealand market with the long term intention of migrating the skills learnt and honed locally into Asian markets as they open up to competition. Our main shareholders are based in the Asia Pacific region and we already have a Singapore office for the wholesale telecommunications market in Asia. The consequent expansion into the exciting Singapore retail market is a natural progression for us.”

In February this year the Government of Singapore decided to bring forward the introduction of full market competition in the telecommunications sector by 2 years from 1 April 2002 to 1 April 2000. The direct and indirect foreign equity limits for all public telecommunications services licenses were also lifted. These measures are designed to encourage global communications players to participate actively in that market as well as locate their regional and global hubs in Singapore, thereby furthering that country’s development as a leading knowledge-based economy and info-comms hub in the Asia Pacific.

Company Background
NEWCALL Group Ltd is the newly listed parent company of NEWCALL Communications Ltd. Other companies in the group include IproLink NZ Ltd, Energy Options Limited, NEWCALL Communications U.S.A., Inc., NEWCALL Communications Pty Ltd (Australia), and NEWCALL Communications International Ltd, which is based in Singapore.

A New Zealand registered Alternate Service Provider, NEWCALL Communications Ltd is one of the country’s fastest growing ‘new generation’ telecommunications companies. Officially launched in June 1998, NEWCALL carries both national and international telecommunications traffic.

Focusing primarily on small to medium-sized organisations, the company specialises in providing high quality cost-effective telecommunications services, including national and international tolls and faxes, land to mobile services and Internet access. State-of-the-art billing and management applications allow NEWCALL to simplify telecommunications for the end-user, while maintaining an innovative, price competitive service.

NEWCALL Communications Ltd is currently installing strategically placed switching nodes throughout New Zealand to facilitate leading edge telecommunications solutions. Delivered through a combination of networks which include Telecom New Zealand and other network providers, NEWCALL’s services are supported by a non-coded access agreement offering transparent access to the user. International services are facilitated through wholesale relationships with a range of international carriers.

NEWCALL’s senior management team is led by Managing Director Norman Nicholls, one of the most experienced senior executives in the telecommunications industry today. The company’s principal shareholder is CTW Beta Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Asia Pacific Wire and Cable Corporation, a US company which is traded on the NASDAQ Exchange.

More information on NEWCALL Communications Ltd is available on the Web at http://www.newcall.co.nz, while information on the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) can be found at http://www.ida.gov.sg
END
For further information, please call:
 Guy Pierce, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, NEWCALL Communications Ltd, Ph: 09 366-1199, 021 343-301
 Nicholas O’Flaherty, Senior Account Manager, Botica Conroy & Associates, Ph: 09 303-3862, 021 403 505


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