TEE tele-ip limited

re: tee/beam comm. & telstra

  1. 164 Posts.
    TEE article from the FIN Review...
    Cheap satellite phones for bush

    Author: Katrina Nicholas
    Date: 24/09/2003 22:13:00
    Words: 487
    Publication: Financial Review
    Section: Companies
    Page: 17
    Source: AFRBreaking

    Telstra's effort to lift its game in the bush, hoping to please politicians and smooth the road to full privatisation, is gathering pace.

    It is understood to be close to signing a deal with fellow listed company Tele-IP that will see solar-powered phones using satellite technology installed in rural Australia.

    It is understood Telstra is close to ordering 200 of the phones, which look and work like normal telephones but use Iridium's 66-strong satellite network.

    Telstra has been testing the phones in its Melbourne research laboratories for some time.

    The equipment will most likely be provided temporarily to customers in remote areas while a fixed line is installed or the phones will be deployed for use in emergencies like floods, fires or other natural disasters.

    Telstra has also been approached by Queensland and other state governments to put the phones at regular intervals on remote highways, similar to the emergency blue phones on metropolitan highways.

    Although Telstra already provides mobile handsets that use Iridium's satellite network to people in remote areas, the new phones can be provided by the carrier cheaper and quicker.

    "The benefit to us is that it's a significantly lower cost in terms of both the terminal and airtime cost plus we can deploy the phones more flexibly and much quicker," Telstra Country Wide manager satellite products Bob Hinrichs said.

    "And the benefit for customers is that the phones can be built into a fixed place, either on a boat or in a car," Mr Hinrichs said.

    The charges are the same as for untimed fixed-line local calls.

    Tele-IP managing director Ian May said Beam Communications, the wholly owned subsidiary that developed the technology, had also received an order from a Thai company for 300 of the phones for maritime use.

    The equipment is being made by Victoria-based Australian Electronic Manufacturing Services.

    Mr May, a former director of business at Optus, said Tele-IP, which floated during the dotcom boom in the late 1990s, was one of six value-added manufacturers for Iridium.

    Technology developed by the value-added manufacturers is then sold to Iridium's customers.

    Mr May said another benefit of the satellite fixed-line phones was that Tele-IP's technology meant people did not have to dial international country codes when making calls.

    Usually, making a satellite call to a local number in Australia entails dialling 0011 61 regardless.

    "With these phones, you just pick up the receiver and call someone like they're next door," Mr May said.
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