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Compass All-In-One Phone & Internet Card

Compass Says Kia Ora To Visitors With New All-In-One Phone & Internet Card

An innovative new pre-paid card offering low rates for phone, cellular and internet access, while helping to promote New Zealand tourism, is being launched nationwide today by New Zealand telecommunications company Compass Communications Limited.

The hybrid functionality (phone, cellular and internet) integrated into "Kia ora" card is understood to be an industry first.

In addition to offering among the lowest international and local rates for phone and internet access, Kia ora card is supporting New Zealand tourism by featuring the stunning images of more than 120 of the country's most visited destinations.

Images for the cards have been supplied by Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) around the country. All of the RTOs have included their logos on the cards.

"We wanted to design a unique and attractive card that serves as both a convenient method of contacting faraway friends, family and colleagues, while at the same time promoting New Zealand to both local and overseas visitors," says Steve McLean, General Manager of Consumer Products for Compass Communications Ltd.

The card's internet functionality means that people can access the internet at 20 cents/minute from almost any computer in New Zealand, including a laptop, which promises to be especially convenient for business travellers.

"We've designed an attractive card that offers unique and convenient features for telephone and internet users ? especially for travellers," says Mr McLean. "We have not seen another card in the industry that offers this hybrid functionality."

Statistics released last week show a record January for overseas visitors, bringing the total number of visitors for the year ending January 2001 to 1.817 million, marking the first time the 1.8 million level has ever been reached.

"We hope that visitors will take the card back home as a keepsake and will show others the spectacular places and attractions this country has to offer," says Mr McLean.

People will be able to purchase cards that feature images from region they are visiting. For example, cards purchased in the Rotorua region may feature images of the geysers, mud pools, or the gondola leading to the luge, whereas cards sold in Auckland may feature the Sky Tower, Mission Bay and the Viaduct.

From April they will also be able to follow the card's user-friendly voice prompts in one of 10 available languages (Cantonese, Dutch, English, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Malay and Mandarin).

Compass Communications piloted the Kia ora card in the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua regions late last year, where it achieved more than 70% market penetration among its target market within two months.

Sold in values of $5, $10, $20 and $30, Kia ora cards will be available at several types of retail outlets throughout the country, as well as tourist information centres run by the Regional Tourist Organisations that supplied the images for the cards.

The cards can be recharged over the phone or on the Kia ora card website at www.kiaoracard.co.nz.

***How it works***

Kia ora card technology is powered by Compass Communications, which owns and operates the phone and data networks that support all Kia ora calls directed through the 0800 numbers.

All calls are directed to the Compass calling card network platform, where callers are told the card's current dollar value and asked to select one of five options: make a call, recharge the card, get instructions in another language, access the internet, or request customer service.

To access the internet, customers must open the dial-up network window on their computer and enter the sequence of characters listed on the back of the card. Once they have entered the characters, users dial into the network like they would with any other internet service provider. Following the dial-in, customers will be asked to enter a username and password (also indicated on the card), and then they can surf the internet and check web-based email services at their leisure, for 20 cents per minute.

Kia ora card users can check the card's current value and recharge it at www.kiaoracard.co.nz.

ENDS

***About Compass Communications Limited Established in 1995 as a provider of enhanced fax services to the New Zealand business market, Compass has rapidly evolved into a full-service telecommunications and internet provider, employing more than 50 people in six offices throughout New Zealand. The 100% New Zealand-owned company operates its own telecommunications network with major switching centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and with further network points of presence in eight other centres across New Zealand. Key services include telephone, fax and data network services, internet access, and web hosting. The company is headed by Karim Hussona (Chief Executive Officer), who is also a major shareholder. Other investors include John Fernyhough (Chairman), and Paul Carter (Chief Financial Officer). Compass Communications Limited is a privately held company which has been identified by recently listed Compass Communications Group Limited in its prospectus as a potential acquisition as part of a key transaction. Visit Compass at www.compass.net.nz.


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