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Ch7 Entry Sparkes VoIP Price War

  • 02 October, 2006 14:00

<p>COMMENT: The September 15 decision by television’s Seven Network to move into the internet telephone business, spending $26 million for a 33 per cent stake in listed VoIP player Engin, has sparked an immediate reaction from Australia’s volatile and crowded telecommunications sector.
Phone CEO Steve Picton on 0416 269 177 or Terry Quinn 0439 710 418 or Visit www.gotalk.com for more details</p>
<p>1. gotalk today launches a VoIP Internet Phone market first - Half Price “Happy Hour” International Phone Calls 6pm-7pm, Seven Days a Week – plus:
2. A breakthrough Cordless Fixed Line Handset which uses digitised software to automatically bypasses Telstra and/or Optus to connect to cheap phone card rates when calling long distance/overseas, and
3. Australia’s first combined pre paid mobile and phone card service allowing international calls to be made from mobiles connected to cheap phone card rates and billed to a “single purse” invoice account.</p>
<p>BACKGROUND: gotalk limited, fast growing, profitable and very aggressive mid range telco based on the Gold Coast debuted at No. 262 in the BRW Top 500 Private Companies list last month. The full service company is very active across broadband, VoIP (internet phone), mobile services. They have a very big slice – perhaps the biggest slice - of the Australian and New Zealand Phone Card Market (at $8 Million plus a month) and their carrier grade switch exchange in Castlereagh Street, Sydney, handles more than 20% of all Australian outbound call traffic – which gives them the muscle to negotiate very low international call rates – even when competing against the big boys such as Telstra and Optus. Their biggest VoIP competition is a company called engin, about to be 33% owned by Network Seven (announced last week) – which is one reason gotalk has decided to get VERY competitive VERY quickly. With Telstra’s “other” problems constantly in the news, perhaps all this can provide you with an interesting industry story? CEO Steve Picton is an articulate, recognized telco executive, well able to explain where the phone industry is going.</p>
<p>PRESS RELEASE: Sydney Friday September 29 The recently renamed full service telco gotalk limited, this week announced an all out assault on the Australian small business, SoHo and consumer internet phone (VoIP) market with a swag of bundled cheap rates and services, including an internet phone market first – a half price, seven day a week 6pm-7pm “Happy Hour” – plus a free, top of the line, ATA telephone adaptor (a DLINK DVG 2001s valued at $119) for new plan customers.</p>
<p>gotalk’s new VoIP bundle includes:</p>
<p>• A Half Price Happy Hour - Call ANY landline worldwide or within Australia for half price between 6pm and 7pm, 7days a week.
• $0 Upfront on VoIP hardware - gotalk to supply customers with a state of the art telephone adaptor (ATA) to plug their ordinary telephone handset into and make phone calls using their Broadband connection. Plans start from $14.95 and subject to 12 month contract.
• INCLUDED CALLS - gotalk included calls across eligible plans don't discriminate between national and international calls. Our competitors (engin and MyNetFone) only offer included calls against national calls to Australian landlines.
• gotalk is a FULL SERVICE Telecommunications company - Discounts are offered for bundling multiple services with gotalk. gotalk offers a FREE hardware device that combines Landline, Broadband and VoIP services seamlessly for the customer FREE of charge. Customers keep their existing landline telephone number for people to call them but every time they pickup the phone and dial they gain access to our LOW VoIP rates. The FREE hardware device also doubles as a wireless Broadband modem. (Subject to 24 month contract).
• FREE 1300 number - Gain access to a FREE 1300 number with ANY VoIP plan from $19.95 or above. Receive 5c for every call received into that 1300 number that gets answered by your assigned landline number.</p>
<p>The successful (and profitable) “Tier 2” telco last week launched two “breakthrough” prepaid non VoIP phone products:</p>
<p>• Ezichat – a $99.95 cordless, fixed line handset phone which, when plugged directly into your existing phone wall socket, uses breakthrough communication software to override your existing carrier to provide callers with current cheap bulk buying phone card rates (such as Daybreak), without having to enter access phone numbers and pin numbers. Included is $20 worth of calls with purchase of base station, international calling rates starting from as little as 0.5c per minute, answering machine included (Dect, memory etc), untimed national calls = 25c (maximum call duration 2 hours), Australian mobiles = 24.9c per min (20c connection fee), access to low international and national rates, choice of 6 international rate tables plus monitoring of your call records available online.</p>
<p>• gotalk prepaid mobile - Australia's first combined mobile and phonecard service in one. Single purse solution allows customer to use service credits to make calls from their mobile phone as well as using a phonecard. The customer can nominate the international rate from a choice of 11 CardCall phonecards. Various calling options for international calls offer the best rates &amp; savings.</p>
<p>(Further information on both ezichat and gotalk’s pre paid mobile is available by visiting www.gotalk.com, or by calling Terry Quinn on 0439 710 418 or John Stuart 0412 751 187)</p>
<p>gotalk’s extensive product range covers both prepaid and postpaid telco products.</p>
<p>gotalk limited is an Australian owned, publicly unlisted, “Tier 2” full service telco company with sales in excess of $161 million per annum and over 280 staff Australia wide. The telco continues to develop and deliver innovative products via a unique Universal Recharge account available to VIP customers to better manage and share their telco spend across a range of prepaid mobile, internet, broadband voice (VoIP) and phonecard services all from the one account. gotalk also provides a range of post paid products including fixed line voice, broadband and dial up internet and broadband voice (VoIP).</p>
<p>One of the main strengths of gotalk is its ability to distribute products through its CardCall subsidiary, which has a 25,000 strong retailer and 7,000 reseller network in Australia and New Zealand. CardCall is also a preferred distributor of Optus Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. gotalk has a large operations centre located at Robina on Queensland’s Gold Coast, while its corporate offices are located in Sydney and Auckland.
gotalk has established strong corporate partnerships with Harvey Norman, BP, Caltex, Woolworths, Coles, Domayne, Dick Smith, Tandy and Harris Technology. gotalk’s distribution network recently expanded considerably when Australia Post agreed to carry its products in post offices throughout Australia.</p>
<p>Stephen Picton CEO gotalk limited PROFILE:</p>
<p>Prior to forming TELECORP LIMITED in March 2000 with high profile telecommunications duo Trevor Rowe, ASX Director, Chancellor of Bond University and Chairman, Investment Banking , NM Rothschild &amp; Sons, Australia; and Vern Wills, Chairman of Enhance Management, Mr Stephen Picton was Group Director, Strategic Development, AAPT. During his years with AAPT, Mr Picton was responsible for the overall strategic development of AAPT since joining as Director of Marketing in 1996. During that period, he oversaw a number of key initiatives, such as AAPT's entry into the wholesale market, the development of a broad-based product portfolio and the rebranding of the company. He also managed AAPT's IPO process and the many acquisitions and alliances carried out by AAPT in areas such as data, internet, satellite, mobile and voice services. Prior to joining AAPT, Mr. Picton spent 9 years with BT (British Telecom) in a variety of sales and business development roles at a senior executive level.</p>

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