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Two consortia invited to make final carrier offers



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MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS

44/91

31 July 1991

TWO CONSORTIA INVITED TO MAKE FINAL CARRIER OFFERS

The Kalori Communications Group and Optus Communications have been invited to proceed to the next stage of the process leading to selection of Australia's second telecommunications carrier.

"Both consortia have submitted comprehensive proposals addressing the Government's objectives in micro-economic reform," Mr Kim Beazley, Minister for Transport and Communications, said today.

He said Kalori and Optus have been invited to enter the next phase. It will include a comprehensive examination of relevent information made available by the Second Telecommunications Carrier Selection Team of the Department of Transport and Communications. Final offers are due to be submitted in October 1991.

Selection of the second carrier is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1991.

The Communications Satellite Corporation, COMSAT, was the third of three bidders that lodged proposals with the Government earlier in July.

"The COMSAT proposal contained some interesting ideas for enhancing the value of the AUSSAT satellites and the door remains open for COMSAT to pursue these ideas with the Kalori and Optus consortia," Mr Beazley said.

"It was not appropriate for COMSAT to be shortlisted because its proposal addressed only satellite technology applications."

Mr Beazley said that the proposals lodged had confirmed the Government's stated belief that the opportunity to become Australia's second carrier would attract strong interest from major players in world telecommunications.

"The proposals represent a very substantial amount of work by all parties involved," he said.

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"Nevertheless, even more detail will be required to be provided before the Government can consider formal offers and proceed to choose between the two groups."

The proposals included commitments regarding the expansion and development of Australian industry, and Australia's international competitiveness in selling telecommunications

goods and services. .

"Given the content of both the Kalori and Optus proposals, I am convinced that the consortium finally selected will increase the range of telecommunications services on offer to reduce tariffs to Australian consumers," Mr Beazley

said.

Core members of the Kalori Communications Group are Ameritech Australia Pty Ltd, Bell Atlantic Australia Pty Ltd, and Hutchison Telephone Pty Ltd.

The principal members of Optus Communications are BellSouth Corporation Inc., Cable and Wireless pic, Mayne Nickless Limited, AMP, and National Mutual.

Media contact: Gary O'Neill, ph. 06 277 7200.