PCCW, Telstra restructure Reach

PCCW, Hong Kong's biggest telecommunications carrier, and Telstra International have completed the restructuring of their joint venture Reach Global Services, a submarine cable and satellite systems operator.

The restructuring is expected to benefit PCCW Global, a subsidiary of the local carrier that provides voice and data services to multinational corporations and telecommunications service providers.

It is not expected to impact PCCW's financial results for last year.

Reach, which was established in 2001 and mainly serves the customers of its two shareholders, operates an undersea cable network that stretches more than 364,000 kilometres and connects more than 240 markets worldwide.

The operator, also known by its Chinese trade name 'Hang Tung' or Everlasting Communications in English, has run what it describes as Asia's largest commercial teleport, with more than 20 operating satellite antennas, in Hong Kong. A teleport comprises all the dishes, receivers, transmitters and other equipment on the ground, in one location, that are needed to send and receive satellite signals.

The bulk of Reach's international assets will be split between PCCW and Telstra International, a Hong Kong-based unit of Australian telecommunications giant Telstra Corp. Reach will continue to manage certain assets and operations, mostly located in Hong Kong.

Frederick Chui Ka-fai, the senior vice-president for worldwide marketing and sales at PCCW Global, said his team is 'working hard to embrace the additional network service capabilities, enhancements and capacity' from the restructuring.

The assets it secured include direct ownership of certain fibre-optic assets on the Reach North Asia Loop, a 10,000-kilometre cable connection between Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Taipei.

Telstra International said the Reach restructuring would also make its operations more competitive in the Asia-Pacific region.