Skype Rings on Hong Kong Market

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Skype Technologies SA yesterday announced a deal with Hutchison Global Communications Ltd. (HGC) to offer Skype’s Internet Telephony product to the Hong Kong market. Terms of the deal were not disclosed (see Skype, Hutch Partner on IP Telephony).

Through the partnership, HGC and Skype will launch a co-branded Web portal where Hong Kong users can download Skype’s VOIP product and use it to make calls to other Skype users free of charge. They can also make calls worldwide to any fixed or mobile phone through the company’s pre-paid SkypeOut service.

The deal is a major win for Skype, as HGC is the first telecom carrier to partner on offering the Skype service to its users. HGC has built the largest fiber-to-the-building telecommunications network in Hong Kong, and offers its customers services such as Ethernet, corporate data transmission solutions, international private leased circuit services, IP transit services, as well as local and overseas call services. Its network consists of more than 4,600 km of ducting and over 800,000 km of core fiber optic cable.

"Being a full fledged telecommunications service provider, we launch ‘HGC-Skype’ to cater for the communications needs of tech-savvy users," said HGC CEO Peter Wong in a release announcing the partnership. "We always partner with leading service providers, and Skype is no exception. Our cooperation will bring ‘Skype mania’ to Hong Kong."

The co-branded Web portal is expected to launch in March of this year. — Chris Somerville, Senior Editor, Next-Generation Services

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