RealTime IT News

AUNET Buys AT&T ISP in Hong Kong, Changes Name

AUNET, which is in the process of changing its name to iAsiaWorks, accelerated its Asian expansion with the acquisition of AT&T EasyLink Services Hong Kong.

The company plans to build on the AT&T unit's strong corporate and Internet customer base to speed the roll-out of turnkey Internet solutions for Hong Kong and China companies and multinational corporations (MNCs).

"Our strategy is to provide world-class technology and Asian, localized applications and expertise," said JoAnn Patrick Ezzell, iAsiaWorks chairman and CEO.

AT&T EasyLink Services Hong Kong serves approximately 6,500 customers and has provided e-commerce and Internet services in Hong Kong and China since 1994.

It provides leading Internet companies -- including Outblaze, Boom.com and I-Quest -- with services that include colocation, access and professional services.

iAsiaWorks plans to expand its offers in Hong Kong -- its regional headquarters -- with particular emphasis on Net-based companies seeking to move into new markets.

The company plans to offer truly localized applications, including services to address translation, currency, regulatory and fulfillment issues, market by market.

The AT&T EasyLink Services Hong Kong deal includes substantial data center capacity in one of Hong Kong's two principal telecommunications gateway facilities.

Part of the company's strategy is to host and collocate customers' e-commerce businesses on servers in-country, to bring that e-commerce business as close as possible to local Internet users. This provides exceptional content-delivery performance and eliminates the latency -- or slow transmission -- issues which can plague e-commerce transactions.

According to the company, Hong Kong is positioned to be one of the region's e-commerce hubs in the coming century, and both Internet usage and e-commerce are increasing rapidly here, in China, and throughout the region. By 2003, according to the International Data Corporation, e-commerce across Asia will be worth US$32 billion.

According to the Yankee Group, by the end of this year there will be almost two million Internet users in Hong Kong and 16.5 million Internet users in China. Within three years, those numbers will soar to 3.8 million users in Hong Kong and 84.5 million in China.

The Yankee Group projects that just under 12 percent of the region -- or more than 360 million people -- will be online by 2005, at which point the Asian online population will outnumber that in the United States.