Transcom International Ltd., a technology development and communication systems company, soon will enter the long distance telecommunications arena in a joint venture with Xinhua News Telecommunications Pty Ltd., which is fully owned by Xinhua News Agency. Together, they will commercialise a long distance telecommunications carrier in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, referred to as NewStar. The project has been submitted for approval to the Australian government. Future applications of the NewStar programme will also include telemedicine services.
Via general access to regional satellite systems, Australian callers will largely benefit from the less expensive NewStar services in their telecommunication contacts with people out of Asia and all countries contiguous to the Pacific. Initially, the NewStar joint venture is offering the following facilities:
- use of international gateway switch and satellite earth station
- origination of international calls to China, Hong Kong and other Asia-Pacific locations
- telephone call centres providing homeline, translation, information and direct inquiry services
- pre-paid phone card services
According to Peter F. Malone, Managing Director of Transcom, his company eventually wants to own the NewStar joint venture for 100 percent by means of stock issuance, after a period of twelve months. All payments to Xinhua News will be made in Transcom shares, based on the current valuations for NewStar. By that time, possible service extensions can be envisaged, like for instance:
- Internet based value-added services, such as health care, student exchange, financial services, travel, news, employment, sports and introductory services
- education and distant learning applications as well as multimedia/online education and satellite TV education
- Internet based telemedicine services, like patient file transfers, health data services, information services for practitioners and pharmaceutical information data bases.