RealTime IT News

Austar to Resell Optus GSM Services to Regional Customers

Australian pay television provider Austar and telecommunicatins network services provider Cable & Wireless Optus have signed a deal allowing Austar the rights to resell Optus' GSM mobile phone services to its regional and rural customer base.

Under the agreement, Austar will be responsible for marketing, billing, handset sales, customer service and credit management in a push to establish market leadership in convergent communications services.

"This deal with Optus gives us the third element of the 'triple play' - voice telephony, to be added to our existing video and data services," said Austar chief executive officer John Porter.

Porter said Austar intends to build on existing Optus services by bundling mobile telephony with pay TV and Internet services to create a package for its customers.

Optus said the deal was important for them as a mobile network because the deal provided them with an opporunity to extend their customer base. "Austar's strong subscriber base in regional Australia makes them an ideal partner," said CWO consumer mobile director Gerard Frack.

Austar is currently installing a new billing system capable of rating voice calls. Marketing to existing Austar customers will begin from July, with general marketing to follow later.