TAIPEI, MUMBAI, HONG KONG, JAKARTA, SEOUL, TOKYO, MANILA, SINGAPORE, December 5, 2006 --- Asia's largest alliance of mobile operators today welcomed Smart Communications, Inc., the Philippines' leading mobile operator, into the group. With SMART's participation, the alliance has expanded its coverage footprint to over 130 million mobile subscribers in nine countries and regions.
The alliance's other members are Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (Taiwan), Hutchison Essar Limited (India), Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Limited (Hong Kong and Macau), PT Indosat Tbk (Indonesia), KT Freetel Co., Ltd. (South Korea),
"We welcome Smart Communications' participation in our alliance. They will undoubtedly bring a wealth of experience in their own market which will help us deliver similar innovative services to all our member customers," said Mr. Chan Kin Hung, chairman of the alliance. "Their inputs have already been invaluable as we prepare to launch new services in the Asia-Pacific region."
The alliance, created in April 2006, was formed to enhance members' competitiveness in international roaming services in their own countries/regions and across Asia-Pacific. In addition to offering on conventional roaming via GSM/GPRS and/or W-CDMA networks, alliance members have started working on roaming with HSDPA technology for high-speed downlinks with each other.
Beyond just roaming, most member operators have already begun providing caller ID and short-code services to their customers as they roam into another member operator's network. This gives business travelers quick and easy access to their home operator's voice mail or customer-support centres. Alliance members are also currently working with multinational corporate clients to provide international data roaming packages and are considering the possibility of joint procurement to reduce costs.
In conjunction with the introduction of its newest member, the alliance today also announced its official name and logo, as well as launched a new website, as its members begin to roll out value-added roaming and corporate mobile services amongst each other.
The name -Conexus Mobile Alliance- signifies the cooperative network of connections between people, places and ideas, one of the alliance's key missions.
Said Mr. Chan, "The new logo and name encapsulates all the brand qualities that the alliance stands for - connectivity, convenience and cooperation among members. It is a name we believe will be recognized and remembered when business travellers roam in member countries."
Jan Nilsson, President & COO of Far EasTone, commented, "There are lots of business customers and travelers across Asia-Pacific nowadays. With this alliance, FET is looking forward to potential opportunities in providing seamless mobile access and advanced technologies to these customers across the region."
Asim Ghosh, Managing Director Hutchison Essar said, "The Conexus Mobile Alliance will make it possible for our customers to enjoy a service similar to that of their home network, even when they are roaming, through Virtual Home Environment."
Peter Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong said, "We are excited to have SMART join the alliance, broadening our footprint to cover another 22.9 million customers in the region. Conexus is going to revolutionise the cross-border mobile communications experience for the corporate customers. We look forward to creating a home away from home communication platform for them."
Kaizad B. Heerjee, Deputy President Director of PT Indosat (Tbk) said , "Indosat is very pleased to welcome Smart Communications to Conexus. Indosat is the first operator in Indonesia to launch a 3.5G/HSDPA service and we are very excited to work together with other members in this alliance to bring significant international roaming benefits and other services to our customers and those of our alliance partners.
Dr. Young-Chu Cho, President and CEO of KTF, commented, "The alliance will enable wider coverage and delivery of
Masayuki Hirata, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO of DoCoMo, commented, "I am very pleased and excited that SMART, the Philippines' top operator, has joined Conexus. We are confident that this alliance will create synergies for each company."
Rogelio V. Quevedo, head for Wholesale Business Group at SMART, said, "We are very pleased to be part of Conexus. Through this cooperation, we hope to provide our subscribers seamless roaming services when they travel to alliance member countries. We will also ensure that our partners' subscribers will remain connected anytime, anywhere in the Philippines through our extensive network coverage and advanced mobile services."
Terry Clontz, President and CEO of StarHub, said, "The Conexus Mobile Alliance allows us to accelerate the deployment of value added roaming services and enhance coordination among like-minded mobile service providers for our customers who are on the move outside of Singapore. The alliance partners collectively represent the largest footprint of 3G wireless coverage in Asia, providing their roaming customers with the most comprehensive wireless mobile broadband service possible."
Conexus continues to encourage other mobile operators to join the alliance.
- About FET
- Far EasTone is a leading wireless service provider in Taiwan, providing advanced and full-range multimedia services including "FET wireless internet", "
i-mode" and "FET cross-net rate plans". With the convergence of services in the media and telecom industry, FET is expanding its scope and vision to become a leading full-service provider for electronic communication, information, entertainment, and transactions. FET offers an innovative environment for superior shareholder value, customer loyalty, employee satisfaction and community involvement. FET was officially listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in the electronic sector in August 2005. After its public listing, FET was included in the Taiwan 50 Index. For more information, please visit: www.fetnet.net.
- About Hutchison Essar
- Hutchison Essar with over 21.27 million* mobile users under the Hutch brand, is one of the most reputed telecom companies in India. Over the years, it has been named the 'Most Respected Telecom Company', the 'Best Mobile Service in the country', and the 'Most Creative and Most Effective Advertiser of the Year'.
Hutch offers a wide range of user-friendly services that makes a customers life simple and fulfill all his entertainment and information requirements. Hutch has been a pioneer in India to provide innovative services like video clips on a 2.5 G network, Mobile Banking, MSN Hotmail and Messenger on Hutch phones, Java Games, HutchMail, a Voice recognition portal and many more such initiatives.
*Figures from Cellular Operators Association of India, Oct 30, 2006
- About Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong
- Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Limited ("Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong") is currently one the largest mobile telecommunication service operators in Hong Kong. Since 1983, it has always been a pioneer in the development of mobile telecommunication deploying multiple mobile technologies including 1G AMPS/ TACS, 2G GSM/ CDMA and 2.5G GPRS/ IS95B in Hong Kong. Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong is committed to providing high quality mobile telecommunication services, telecom retail services and call centre services in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as mobile telecommunications consultancy services in Mainland China. It is also the first operator in Hong Kong to roll out world-class 3G service under the "3" brand, leading Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong's technical and service excellence into the 3G era. Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong is a subsidiary of Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited ("Hutchison Telecom"). Hutchison Telecom is a leading listed telecommunications operator (SEHK:2332; NYSE:HTX) focusing on dynamic markets. It currently offers mobile and fixed-line telecommunication services in Hong Kong, and operates or is rolling out mobile telecommunication services in India, Israel, Macau, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam. For more information about Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong, see www.three.com.hk. For more information about Hutchison Telecom, see www.hthkh.com.
- About Indosat
- Indosat Tbk is a leading telecommunication and information service provider in Indonesia that provides cellular of prepaid and postpaid services (Mentari, IM3 and Matrix), IDD services and fixed telecommunication services. Indosat also provides Multimedia, Internet & Data Communication Services (MIDI). Indosat's shares are listed in the Jakarta and Surabaya Stock Exchange (JSX:ISAT) and its American Depository Shares are listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:IIT). For more information, please click www.indosat.com.
- About KTF
- Since 1997 when it first launched its PCS business, KTF has grown into a leading player with 12 million subscribers in Korea's mobile communications industry, setting new records. The company set a record by securing more than 9 million subscribers within three years of commencing services, and ranked first among mobile communications companies in Business Week's top 100 global IT companies. KTF launched the downloadable icon-based multimedia service "Multipack", the first in the world and commercialized the high-speed 3G service, "FIMM", available through mobile phones, also the first in the world. "Magic N" was chosen as the best fixed or wireless total internet service by netizens and industry experts alike. All KTF employees are devoted to deliver "Good Time" service, setting customer satisfaction as Number One objective, and to grow continuously with customers through high-tech development and customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.ktf.com.
- About NTT DoCoMo
- NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company. DoCoMo serves more than 52 million customers, including 30 million people subscribing to FOMA™, launched as the world's first 3G mobile service based on
W-CDMAin 2001. DoCoMo also offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode™, the world's most popular mobile e-mail/Internet service, used by more than 47 million people. With the addition of credit-card and other e-wallet functions, DoCoMo mobile phones have become highly versatile tools for daily life. NTT DoCoMois listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english.
- About SMART
- Smart Communications, Inc. is the Philippines' leading wireless services provider with 22.9 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-September 2006. Of the total subscriber base served, 16.5 million are under the brands Smart Buddy, Smart Gold, addict mobile, addict mobile prepaid, Smart Infinity, Smart Kid, Smart Kid Prepaid and Smart ACeS. Another 6.4 million subscribers are served through its subsidiary, Pilipino Telephone Corp., under the GSM brand Talk 'N Text. SMART has introduced world-first wireless data services, including mobile commerce services such as Smart Money, Smart Load and Smart Padala. SMART also has 3G services, Smart 3G, and wireless broadband services, Smart Bro. SMART is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Philippines ' leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. For more information, please visit http://www1.smart.com.ph/corporate.
- About StarHub
- StarHub is Singapore's second largest info-communication company and the sole operator delivering a full range of information, communications and entertainment services over fixed, cable, mobile and Internet platforms. StarHub operates a 3G mobile network in addition to its GSM network, and is the exclusive provider of the
i-modemobile Internet service over its 2.5G and 3G networks. StarHub also operates its own nation-wide HFC network that delivers multi-channel cable TV services (including Digital Cable), voice and Internet access for both consumer and corporate markets. StarHub is listed on the SGX-ST. For more information, visit www.starhub.com.