Market Deregulation Basis Of Major Wholesale t  Opportunity For StarHub


Singapore, 3 April 2001 -- StarHub, Singapore's new info-communications operator, today announced the formation of a 50:50 joint venture with pan-Asian telecommunications and IP services provider Asia Global Crossing to provide terrestrial backhault and telehouset facilities to other carriers, Internet Service Providers, SBO’s and FBO’s in Singapore.


Named StarHub Crossing, the joint venture will offer services which seamlessly connect customers in Singapore to more than 200 major cities in over 27 countries through Asia Global Crossing's pan-Asia subsea East Asia Crossing system when it lands here in Q4 2001. Upon completion, East Asia Crossing will be the first truly pan-Asian system, linking Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, and, as regulations permit, China, on one seamless global network.


"StarHub’s partnership with Asia Global Crossing marks another significant milestone for us as we deliver on our promise to bring competitive, high quality infocomms services to Singapore. We have now extended StarHub’s own domestic optic fibre cable to over 500 commercial buildings in Singapore. The relationship with Asia Global Crossing will serve to rapidly expand StarHub’s global network platform, offering secure, high performance connectivity to StarHub’s customers in Singapore to major cities around the world," said Mr Terry Clontz, President and Chief Executive Officer of StarHub.


"The formation of StarHub Crossing marks a significant advance in Asia Global Crossing’s business plan of partnering with the leading companies in each of the countries East Asia Crossing connects," said Mr. Anthony Christie, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development of Asia Global Crossing. "StarHub Crossing gives customers competitive choice and new alternatives for international connectivity to Singapore. Through our partnership with StarHub and STT, Singapore will seamlessly link to 200 cities in 27 countries in the world."


This partnership between StarHub and Asia Global Crossing was facilitated with the assistance of StarHub's majority shareholder, Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia). In January this year, Singapore Technologies Telemedia had announced its joint venture with Asia Global Crossing to build and operate backhaul and telehouse facilities to link Singapore and the Global Crossing network. With StarHub's entry to the venture as the local operational partner, the alliance is even stronger.


"ST Telemedia is glad to play an instrumental role in this historic partnership and the start of a successful collaboration between StarHub and Asia Global Crossing. Together, these two companies will deliver the most advanced communications services on a seamlessly-connected global IP network to businesses in Singapore. Thus catapulting Singapore into the world stage as the premier communications hub," said Mr Lee Theng Kiat, President and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Technologies Telemedia.


This new joint venture is expected to further accelerate StarHub growth in International and Wholesale services. The wholesale market has seen remarkable growth, in part due to the local deregulated telecommunications market. Already the Wholesale segment makes up more than 25% of total StarHub revenue.


A New Competitive Landscape With New Opportunities

When the telecommunications industry was unexpectedly de-regulated two months before its launch in April 2000, StarHub quickly moved on the opportunity to build a wholesale business to serve other new entrants. Being a fully licensed Facilities-Based Operator (FBO) with an international network of direct routes to 26 carriers in 16 countries, StarHub adopted an 'operator-neutral' approach and started offering its services to its competitors.


"The opportunity was there and we wasted no time in capitalising on our unique position as a viable alternative to the former monopoly carrier," said Mr John Poston, Senior Vice President, International and Wholesale, StarHub.


"In the wholesale business, our traditional competitors are our customers. As a result, we are able to bring more choices to Singapore on our facilities, which in turn help Singapore become more competitive. We now have 30 wholesale customers to whom we are offering a wide range of high quality and variety of voice and data services such as IDD, leased bandwidth, managed services and Internet Protocol-based services," added Mr Poston.


Giving New Telco Entrants A New Dimension Of Connectivity And Services

StarHub continued to strengthen its international network capabilities by forming relations with telcos around the world. StarHub has also been awarded a S214 license in the United States which allows it to establish an access node in New York giving it improved cost efficiency and access to the biggest pool of international traffic between Asia and the US.


Closer to home, StarHub has also launched the StarHub Internet Exchange (IX) last year to serve the ISP operator market. Other options such as building cable stations to land new international subsea cables are also actively being explored, thus offering international cable operators a competitively priced and neutral landing partner in Singapore


"The increased competition among undersea cable operators and the presence of more cables landing here is likely to result in lower cost of delivery of bandwidth to and from Singapore. In turn, customers are almost guaranteed of significant cost reductions to what they are currently paying for their bandwidth needs," elaborated Mr Poston.


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