Singapore, 01 June 1999 -- StarHub announced that it has awarded a contract for about 3,500 payphone units and the payphone management system to Ascom Payphone Systems, a division of the Swiss telecommunications and service automation company known as the Ascom Group.


StarHub intends to rollout its payphones for trial in December 1999. Its full commercial payphone services will start on 1 April 2000. In the initial phase, StarHub will operate about 1,600 payphone units and progressively complete installation of the remaining units by the end of the year 2000.


Ascom Payphone Systems will be supplying StarHub with payphones in two different types of design with various modes of operation. The payphone designs will be ergonomic and will aesthetically fit the indoor and outdoor environments where the payphone units are to be located. These payphones will include coin- and card-operated units with value-added features to provide convenience to the users.


Mr Terry Clontz, Chief Executive Officer, StarHub, said, "Ascom is a major phone supplier in Asia with a wealth of experience and expertise in the European market as well. Our partnership with Ascom will stand us in good stead to bring to our customers innovative, customer-friendly and high quality payphone services."


In response to the Telecommunications Authority of Singapore’s announcement today to liberalize the provision of chain payphone services, Mr Graham Moore, Senior Vice President Commercial & Service commented, "This development will add another interesting dimension to the dynamic competition in the payphone business scene. These chain payphone operators could well be our competitors and our customers at the same time."


Mr Hans Gunter, President Service Automation Ascom Asia Pacific said, "Ascom’s contract and cooperation with StarHub will establish a new dimension in the area of payphone operation in the Asian marketplace. The project includes applications and user features which are beyond those provided by traditional payphone systems. This will help StarHub to deliver state-of-the-art telecommunications and IT services to the public in Singapore. Ascom is proud to be chosen as StarHub’s competence partner in this challenging project."


StarHub is now seeking to work with parties including building owners and tenants, retailers and distributors, on the sale distribution of StarHub’s phone cards, as well as sponsors and advertisers who might be interested in potential promotional tie-ups.