Customer Services Hotline 121-000
Media Centre
Press Release
Press Release
18 Oct 2004
Strategic Repositioning of Wharf T&T Stepping Forward into the New IP Era
Wharf T&T Launches DIGITAL HOMELINE Service

Current FTNS fixed-line service providers using Type II interconnection face tough challenges following the government's decision to withdraw Type II interconnection by mid-June 2008. Wharf T&T is fully equipped not only to steer through it, but to thrive and prosper with significant breakthroughs in the new IP era.

Internet Protocol (IP) technology is an irreversible global development trend today. To cope with rapid technological changes and service requirements, Wharf T&T has accelerated the transformation of its TDM-based network to a state-of-the-art IP network and is bolstering its IP infrastructure with continual rollout of the Next Generation Network (NGN). This superb NGN IP infrastructure will enable Wharf T&T to introduce new services for residential and business customers to meet their ever demanding needs. This transformation represents a new milestone for Wharf T&T.

For the business sector, the IP-based SUPERTONE BROADBAND service launched with Cisco last year was well-received by the market. This success heralds a new generation of high quality, reliable and versatile telecommunications services. Other than this, Wharf T&T will also make use of the latest sophisticated technology to further extend direct access to targeted commercial buildings. Furthermore, the Company is poised to explore more cost effective and efficient ways to extend our network coverage. Wharf T&T plans to expedite coverage to commercial buildings before the sunset date of Type II interconnection.

For the residential fixed-line market, Wharf T&T is launching the brand new Digital HomeLine service, which utilizes i-CABLE's Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) network as the core transport and last mile. The upgraded service offers crystal clear voice quality and high reliability. What makes it stand out from other Voice over Broadband services currently available in the market is that the service is run on dedicated bandwidth of the HFC network owned by another unit of the Wharf Group.

Wharf T&T's strategic partnership with i-CABLE will enable it to upgrade its service and accelerate its network coverage through the HFC network. The network has already made DIGITAL HOMELINE service ready for over 60% of households, representing around 1.2 million homes; and this is expected to rise to over 95% at the end of 2005. Current customers of our TDM-based HOMELINE will be gradually migrated to the DIGITAL HOMELINE platform by mid 2008. Wharf T&T will soon be able to ride on the second largest telecommunications network in Hong Kong to offer voice services.

Mr. Stephen Ng, Chairman and CEO of Wharf T&T, commented on these recent company developments, "The strategic partnership of Wharf T&T and i-CABLE will definitely create an edge by extending our network coverage and lowering costs with higher operating efficiency, compared with leasing the last mile from PCCW. Wharf T&T will have more savings to invest in building our own direct access network and developing new services for our business customers."

He added that "Wharf T&T regards future changes in the telecommunications market as offering new hopes and challenges, and we have developed long-term, comprehensive strategies to resolve issues of network coverage, cost and technology. We believe that both business and residential markets will achieve higher growth rates with these new elements, paving the way for us to achieve our goal of making Wharf T&T the Next Generation telecommunications service operator."

About Wharf T&T Limited

Wharf T&T, licensed in 1995, is one of the fastest growing fixed-line operators with significant investment in its own telecommunications network infrastructure in Hong Kong. Since its debut when the Hong Kong fixed telecommunications market was liberalized, Wharf T&T has continually sought to upgrade its services and deliver competitive products at competitive prices to Hong Kong businesses and consumers.

Wharf T&T is a member of The Wharf Group, one of the largest groups of companies in Hong Kong. The Wharf Group also owns i-CABLE Communications Limited, the No. 1 Television Station in Hong Kong for news, movies and sports, as well as being a leading Internet access service provider.

For further information about both Wharf T&T and The Wharf Group, please visit the Wharf T&T website at www.wharftt.com.

- End -