Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Mobile Communications - Elcoteq Launches Handset Factory in India
November 04, 2004
After earlier calls for an alliance of mobile operators, SingTel recently forged a joint venture with six other Asian operators. Located in Singapore, Bridge Mobile will become the largest alliance of its kind in Asia Pacific region, encompassing a subscriber base of over 56 million. Operation is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2005.


Spearheaded by SingTel, the alliance also includes India's Bharti Tele-Ventures, the Philippines' Globe Telecom, Malaysia's Maxis Communications, Australia's Optus, and Indonesia's Telkomsel, Taiwan's TCC (Taiwan Cellular Corp.). Singtel has already had minor stakes in these regional operators except for TCC and Maxis. Thailand's Advanced Info Service also decided to join at a later date. 


The seven operators will have equal stake in Bridge Mobile and collectively invest US$300 million to US$400 million over three years in developing a regional infrastructure and common services platform.  


At the early stage, the alliance will target prepaid subscribers and frequent travelers by increasing interoperability among member operators and offering preferential roaming rates.