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Startec Expands VoIP Services in China

Startec Global Communications (Hong Kong) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Startec Global Communications Corp. , has signed a VoIP traffic exchange agreement with Far East Gateway (FEG), an affiliate of China Netcom Corporation Ltd. (China Netcom). Through the agreement, Startec will be able to connect to China Netcom's fiber-optic IP backbone network through FEG's Hong Kong switch.

The agreement allows China Netcom to route its worldwide voice and fax traffic to Startec's global IP network and will allow the Bethesda, Md.-based Startec to terminate its VoIP traffic in China. The agreement also expands Startec's reach into the emerging economies, with more than 85 gateways deployed in more than 43 countries. Startec's IP revenue of $52.1 million in the third quarter of last year makes it one of the leading IP carriers in the world.

China Netcom is a strategic investor in FEG and is the third fully licensed telecommunications carrier in China. The company provides open, IP-based communications services that integrate voice, video, fax and data. China Netcom has recently deployed CNCnet -- a fiber-optic, IP over DWDM (Dense Wave Division Multiplexing) backbone network covering 17 cities in China.

"Startec's recent agreement with Far East Gateway further expands our global IP footprint in one of the fastest growing markets in the world," said Ram Mukunda, Startec's chief executive officer. "Startec's connection to China Netcom will enhance our ability to offer IP services such as managed network solutions between China and North America while enabling China Netcom to send IP traffic from China to the numerous countries in which Startec operates. We look forward to the synergy that will be created by the convergence of our networks."

Startec provides advanced communications and Internet services to ethnic residential customers and enterprises transacting business in the world's emerging economies. The company's affiliated network of international gateway and domestic switches, IP gateways and ownership in 15 undersea fiber optic cables also provides IP-based voice, data and video service to major long distance carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and Internet portals.