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Optus to offer CDMA Services in Regional Australia
12 Nov 1999

Cable & Wireless Optus has announced that it will be providing CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) mobile services to customers in regional Australia. This will provide choice to regional customers as the analog mobile network closes down.

"Our CDMA service picks up where analog leaves off. Optus Mobile CDMA will provide reasonably equivalent coverage to analog (AMPS) coverage and this is good news, particularly for mobile phone users in regional and rural areas. Now people in all parts of Australia will have access to quality coverage via Optus," said Paul O'Sullivan, Managing Director Mobile, Cable & Wireless Optus.

On 31 December 1999, the analog mobile phone network will close down in all greater metropolitan and surrounding areas plus 130 regional areas. Half the remaining areas will be closed by June 2000 and the rest of the analog network will be switched off in December 2000.

To help educate customers on what is now available, Optus recently began a national regionally based advertising campaign announcing its Mobile CDMA services. Starring athletics hero, Steve Moneghetti, the ads answer some of the main questions asked by regional mobile users.

"It is now time for regional users to consider their mobile future and choose the service which best meets their needs," said Mr O'Sullivan.

"Through our Mobile CDMA service customers in regional and rural areas will benefit from wider coverage where they need it the most," he said.

In addition, customers with dual mode AMPS/CDMA mobile phones will be able to roam between the two services until the AMPS system is finally phased out in December 2000.

Optus CDMA customers will be offered value-added services including voicemail, call forward/diversion, and call hold/call wait. Short message service, fax and data services and call identification will be available with Optus Mobile CDMA early next year.

According to Mr O'Sullivan, "By offering Optus Mobile CDMA service, we are able to complement our existing GSM mobile service portfolio and reinforce our commitment to providing choice to all Australians.

"Throughout regional and metropolitan Australia we have an extensive network of Optus outlets which can advise customers on the most appropriate service for them depending on where they live and work," he said.

As part of its commitment to regional customers, Optus is offering some great bonus deals during this changeover period.

Analog customers connecting to an Optus' 'yes' CDMA plan will have their connection fee, worth $65 waived. Optus Mobile CDMA is also offering a range of competitive pricing structures that will deliver benefits to regional consumers. Regional customers who convert to Optus' 'yes' CDMA service during the months of November and December will also have the free call component of their plan doubled on their first two bills.

In addition, they can take advantage of Optus' other competitive pricing. Optus has also recently launched '$0 effective monthly access' which will give all new 'yes' CDMA plan customers their monthly access fee back in calls each month. This offer means that a customer on a $25 a month access plan - who makes at least $25 worth of calls each month - effectively reduces their access fee to zero. The '$0 effective monthly access' fee offer applies to 'yes' CDMA 25 plan and above. 'yes' CDMA 10 and 15 plans are excluded.

A number of smaller and lighter handsets are available to customers who upgrade to the Optus CDMA service including popular handsets by manufactures such as Samsung and Motorola.

For more information:
Louise Ingram
Cable & Wireless Optus
Phone: 02 9342 5042