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Arena GSM: Industry benefits in the third mobile decision



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FO R IM M E D IA T E R E L E A SE 15 D E C E M B E R 1992

ARENA GSM: INDUSTRY BENEFITS IN THE THIRD MOBILE DECISION *

"The selection o f A rena G SM as A u stralia's T hird M obile Telecom m unications C arrier w ill provide a significant b oost to the developm ent o f the A ustralian telecom m unications industry and m any em ploym ent opportunities," the M inister fo r Industry, Technology and C om m erce, Senator John Button said today.

"A rena G SM w ill establish its A sia Pacific headquarter in A ustralia. It w ill use A ustralian expertise in telecom m unications, engineering, accounting, law and other services to bid fo r and operate overseas m obile telecom m unications netw orks in the A sia P acific region. T h e consortium has established relationships in South K orea, H ong K ong and India and is active in negotiating for m obile com m unications opportunities in a num ber o f other countries.

"A rena G SM has offered a strong industry developm ent plan which w ill enhance A ustralian com petitiveness," S enator Button said. "The industrial developm ent benefits are significant.

"A rena G SM w ill be placing orders for approxim ately $400 million o f capital equipm ent w ith local suppliers in early 1993 for the establishm ent o f the netw o rk 's infrastructure. A rena has offered a m inim um o f 60 per cent A ustralian content in the netw ork infrastructure. T he additional production generated by these orders should give local m anufacturers the critical mass needed to m ake exporting their equipm ent to the grow ing A sia Pacific m arket m ore viable.

"Through this additional business for suppliers and the operation o f its netw ork and service providers, A rena G SM w ill create up to 5000 new jobs," Senator Button said.

"A rena G SM has also offered a significant training p ro g ram . As w ell as spending $1.2 million each year on training, a Y outh T raining Schem e w ill be established for young people to operate the netw ork in A ustralia and be part o f the consortium 's bids for and operation o f other m obile netw orks in the A sia Pacific region," Senator Button said.

A significant research group w ill be created com prising A ren a GSM , its suppliers and m ajor A ustralian tertiary institutions. It w ill have a budget o f at least $25 million over the next five years to fund research and '

developm ent on digital com m unications. A rena w ill allocate $1 m illion p er annum to the seed funding o f this research and developm ent.

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PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MIC AH

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In conjunction w ith Exicom Lim ited, A rena G SM w ill undertake pre-personalisation o f SIM (sm art) cards in A ustralia. T he sm art card is central to the operation and security o f the G SM digital handset as it contains the individual operating and account details o f each custom er. T his is the first w idespread application o f sm art card technology in A ustralia and there is significant scope fo r expanding the use o f SIM cards beyond telecom m unications to pay T V and banking services.

C A N B E R R A C O N T A C T : G eo ff Leach

N R 492 ■ S enator B utton's O ffice

(06) 277 7580