Sat, Feb 03, 2001 - Page 17 News List

Asia Global Crossing in talks on partnership deal

By Richard Dobson  /  STAFF REPORTER

Asia Global Crossing (AGC, 全球光網電) is in preliminary talks with KG Telecommunications (和信電訊) about forging a strategic partnership which could see data that travels via its global-spanning submarine cable becoming accessible in Taiwan via KG's networks.

Leslie Koo, (辜成允) chairman of KG Telecommunications, said: "... we believe that a partnership will allow us to leverage Asia Global Crossing's global connectivity and enable us to deliver international IP and data services to our customers." Chian Feng (錢鋒) president of Asia Global Crossing Taiwan said, "We have started to discuss the possibilities for a partnership in a variety of areas including value-added services."

But despite KG Telecom's strong position in wireless communications -- in September 2000 it launched Asia's first nation-wide broadband GPRS network -- Chian said a deal involving wireless services had not been discussed.

Other areas of partnership are being explored, said Chian, who pointed out KG Telecom "also has a circuit leasing license" that could provide backhaul services for AGC's cable that is scheduled to "land" near Tamshui in the second quarter of this year.

Backhaul is the link between the cable and the telehouse, where fixed-network cables spread out to service end users.

Chian stressed that the discussions were "very preliminary" and that they haven't ruled out partnerships with other telecoms companies in Taiwan.

Currently, AGC Taiwan has one local partner (Microelectronics Technology Inc) which holds a 40 percent equity stake in the company. In accordance with regulations, AGC is negotiating with local fixed-network operators to provide the links between the submarine cable and end users.

AGC Taiwan was the first telecommunications company to receive an international submarine cable circuit leasing license from the Taiwan government.

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