Optus is seeking further opportunities in New Zealand utilising its successful broadband satellite roll out in Australia.
Optus already provides broadcasting, data and radio services to a number of New Zealand companies. Optus is looking to expand its reach and is part of a consortium that is participating in a tender for the New Zealand Government.
Chris Hancock, Managing Director Optus Wholesale said, "There is a growing demand to deliver internet and data via satellite. With the use of VSAT services, Optus provides governments and businesses with access to high-speed internet and data services regardless of location."
"Geography is a important factor in communication infrastructure, and in New Zealand's geography makes it an ideal place to use satellite communication services. Optus can help to satisfy remote regions communications needs such as internet access via its satellites," he said.
"Optus is experienced in providing satellite services to remote locations - and last year, we received the Rural/Regional Telecommunications Award at the CommsWorld Telcom Awards for our superior rural satellite services.
"A good example of this is the Northern Territory Government in Australia who delivers high-speed internet access via our satellite to more than 35,000 students, giving kids in remote public schools the opportunity to access more information," Mr Hancock said.
It is anticipated that the New Zealand Government will announce the outcome of its tender process by mid 2003.
Optus has more than 20 years experience as a satellite owner and operator combined with Australia's largest fleet of domestic satellites. In 2002, Optus and SingTel created an Integrated Business Unit (IBU) to manage the wider SingTel Group's satellite fleet.
Optus manages the IBU and its satellite fleet from Australia. The SingTel Optus Group's fleet includes four satellites in orbit that cover Australia, Tasmania, Norfolk Island, New Zealand, China and India, with limited coverage to Papau New Guinea, Cocos Island, Christmas Island, Lord Howe Island, Solomon Islands and East Timor. Customers of the wider SingTel Group can access more than 25 satellites in the region.
Optus is scheduled to launch the Group's seventh satellite, C1, in the first quarter of the next financial year. C1 will provide extended coverage to its customers into Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. It will have an orbit position at 156 degrees East with 24 Ku-band transponders.
For further information about Optus satellite services visit www.optusbusiness.com.au