Linking Regional Network

Back to Contents of Issue: December 1999

Cable & Wireless IDC Commits Japan to lead Asia's Net

by Gail Nakada

Speaking October 8 at the Nikkei Global Management Forum held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Cable & Wireless (part shareholder of Cable & Wireless IDC Inc.) CEO Graham Wallace said, "Looking ahead, Japan is the clear leader in the development of the Internet in Asia. Demand projections are impressive, showing Japan's IP network capacity growing by a factor of 50 or 60 over the next few years, and maintaining a consistent 50% share of Asian IP capacity out into the future."

Three new services are under construction by C&W IDC Inc., the new telecom recently formed through investment in Japan's IDC by Britain's Cable & Wireless. These are: Web hosting services before 2001, Internet connection services with system integration for small and midsize businesses, and performance-guarantee Internet services. The company's priorities center on global IP-based applications that include e-commerce, voice over IP, messaging, multimedia, and Web hosting. Though retail customers are important, the company is targeting these applications towards improving their business customers' performance. Most large telecoms earn around half their revenue from business customers, and half from consumers. At Cable & Wireless, over three-quarters of revenue comes from the business end. In Asia, the ratio of business to consumer use is about two to one.

Cable & Wireless is implementing a $3 billion global network investment program over the next two to three years. Of that figure, $690 million will go towards linking the two carriers' regional networks together. Since joining with IDC, C&W has doubled its Internet gateway capacity to the U.S. to 400MB per second, and during the coming year, this capacity will be doubled again to more than 1GB per second.

On the consumer side, the company implemented sweeping reductions in calling charges on October 5. A standard three-minute call to the U.S. at daytime rates, which once cost the user ¥240, is now ¥180 with the new, reduced rates. Calls made during the evening period that averaged ¥210 for a three-minute call, cost ¥150. Nighttime rates also dropped from ¥150 to ¥120. In addition, the company is under negotiations with Tokyo Telecommunication Network Co. Inc., DDI Corp., and NTT Corp. for possible collaboration.

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