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Telstra Plans Regional And Global Expansion



Sydney, Australia, June 24th/MediaNet International-AsiaNet/- - Media representatives attending the major regional CommunicAsia99 telecommunications industry conference and exhibition in Singapore this week heard that the recent appointment of new CEO Ziggy Switkowski has signalled an invigorated and fresh approach to Telstra's global business.

They learned that Dr Switkowski has identified the company's international and wholesale businesses as two of the key areas for Telstra's growth.

As a first step in achieving this growth, Telstra has brought its international retail and wholesale businesses together into a new Wholesale & International division under the leadership of Group Managing Director Doug Campbell, who briefed journalists on Telstra's global outlook at a media conference convened during CommunicAsia99.

Mr Campbell explained that this strengthened relationship will help Telstra leverage its worldwide assets to deliver better value to customers.

"Our approach is to build on the strengths of established businesses in Europe, the US and the Asia Pacific region and to branch out into new businesses - both in telecommunications and related converging industries," said Mr Campbell.

In the past, Telstra's international businesses have operated more or less independently.

Telstra's aim now is to link these businesses into a global network that creates a communication web encircling the globe, allowing seamless delivery of products and services to both retail (corporate) customers as well as wholesale customers (other carriers and telecommunications operators). 'One-stop shopping' and a single point of contact for customers - no matter what their needs - is the Telstra service delivery maxim.

To help achieve this global service web, Telstra plans to multiply the number of its switching "points of presence" (PoPs) around the globe to enable the company to maximise network scope and offer customers a high-value alternative to existing major communication channels.

Telstra already boasts extensive international network capability, through cable and satellite agreements and equity arrangements with global communications consortiums. And planning is underway to augment the company's global connectivity with a bold new cable construction program which, if subsequently approved, would link Australia directly with Japan on capacity links far greater than those currently available.

Feasibility studies, in conjunction with two major operating partners in Japan and the US, are currently underway (this is additional to Telstra's recently announced involvement with the APCN2 submarine cable consortium).

Telstra is also looking at a number of opportunities for acquisitions, equity stakes and alliances to enhance its expansion in the region and its global influence.

The Asia Pacific region will play an integral role in Telstra's new global strategy. Telstra has had business relationships in the region for more than 50 years, including a network build and operate relationship in Vietnam since the late 1980s. Telstra also has business relationships and partnerships in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and other countries and territories.

Among other achievements, the company has built a reputation as a strong network designer and operator, especially in Vietnam and Cambodia. Seamless global service for corporate customers in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region, as well as wholesale services for other communications companies, is the growing focus of Telstra's Wholesale & International business unit.

Telstra's global "points of presence" strategy has already seen switching equipment installed and operating successfully in Hong Kong and Japan, and the company is looking at other locations in the region. This will further enhance its ability to deliver cost effective options for corporates looking to route voice and data (including internet) traffic around the globe - especially to and from the Asia Pacific region.

In Europe, Telstra has a switch in the United Kingdom and will announce facilities in other European centres in the near future. New "PoPs" are also scheduled for the US, geared towards handling the exponential growth in internet traffic, much of which flows into North America.

To help support burgeoning electronic commerce via the internet, Telstra has greatly increased its broadband cable capacity in recent years - and will expand that capacity further in the near future. The proposed cable to Japan would be part of that program and would connect to existing trans-Pacific links into North America.

Telstra planners, in conjunction with project partners, are currently working on the feasibility of capacity upto 640 gigabits per second - much greater capacity than any existing offering in the market and some 500 times greater than the combined existing PacRimWest and PacRimEast cables which carry the vast majority of international telecommunications "traffic" between Australia and Asia and Australia and North America respectively.

Mr Campbell said the Australia-Japan cable feasibility study was indicative of Telstra's commitment to global networking capability going into the data world - the future that is already upon us.

"At Telstra, we plan to be in the right position to give our customers the best chance of taking advantage of the explosion of internet and electronic commerce," Mr Campbell said.

"We already have greater capacity in our network for data, including internet, than we do for voice telephony.

"And we are investing billions of dollars year-on-year to ensure we have the national and international networks and product offerings that meet the data mode of operation which our customers will increasingly demand into the future.

"It is a dynamic and challenging future, full of change and exciting new developments in the way we communicate in our business and social lives. Telstra plans to be at the forefront of that dynamic future in the Asia Pacific region, and as a significant player on the global scene,"



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