New T&T claiming lion's share of fixed line swaps

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 July, 1998, 12:00am

New T&T claims that the vast majority of customers swapping between fixed line networks are opting to take its services above those of rivals.

The Wharf Holdings subsidiary said at the end of May it had a 90 per cent share of all 'ported' telephone numbers since liberalisation of the local market three years ago.

This was a measure of customers changing operators but retaining their original telephone number.

In absolute terms, New T&T was forging ahead of its fellow new players but still well behind former incumbent monopoly Hongkong Telecom.

New T&T president Leslie Harris said the company now had more than 43,000 business lines and 5,000 residential customers. It had 2,400 business customers.

Hutchison Telecom has about 18,000 business and residential lines and New World Telephone about 10,000.

The new companies still account for only about 2 per cent of the market, compared with Hongkong Telecom's 3.6 million lines.

New T&T also said it had 330,000 registered users of its 007 international service.

In terms of international traffic, Mr Harris said the company had also seen the slowdown experienced by Hongkong Telecom over the past few months.

Only 16 to 17 per cent of international traffic out of Hong Kong was from multinationals, most was from small- and medium-sized companies, he said.

'These trading companies are the boiler room of the economy' and had proved to be much more price-sensitive to telephone charges than expected.

They had the 'dollar saved on the telephone bill is a dollar in the back pocket' mentality, he said.

The most immediate effect had been noticeably shorter call durations to international destinations.