Swiftel plans future with people

Perth-based ISP, Swiftel, has announced it will acquire all shares in telecommunications company, people telecom, and merge the two operations under the people telecom brand.

The deal will see the combined group provide a full suite of telephony and data services for home and business users, ranging from fixed and mobile communications to broadband and voice over IP (VoIP) products.

The combined company will be headed up by current people telecom CEO, Ryan O’Hare, with Swiftel CEO, Chris Gale, as the new director of data services.

According to Swiftel’s ASX press statement, the merged people telecom/Swiftel business will manage more than 30,000 business and consumer customers across Australia.

people telecom co-founder and CEO, Ryan O’Hare, said the merger would allow each company to deliver its existing product offerings as part of a “one-stop” communications solution.

“We will provide customers with a ‘one bill’ solution in delivering a full suite of products and services – data, telephone, mobile and content,” he said.

Currently, people telecom is a privately-owned Australian company. O’Hare said the monetary value of the merger would depend on its share price on the day of approval.

As part of the new product portfolio, consumer services will be branded as Swiftdsl, Swiftmobile and Swiftvoice. Business products will be sold under the people telecom brand around Australia with the exception of Perth, where the service will continue to be sold under the Swiftel brand name.

Swiftel’s relationship with people telecom was cemented with the signing of a reseller agreement between the two parties in July last year. Under the agreement, people telecom was permitted to resell the ISP’s DSL services to its corporate customer base in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Speaking to IDG about the deal with people telecom last month, Swiftel spokesperson and people telecom co-founder, Colin Marland, said the volume of customers from the reseller arrangement equated to 100 to 150 per month.

Marland said Swiftel currently had about 15,000 broadband and dial-up customers. The ISP began national expansion of its DSL services in early 2003, and has since established services for both residential and business customers in Perth, NSW, Victoria, Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin. In contrast, people telecom has a largely business customer base of about 10,000 Australian businesses.

O’Hare said all staff currently employed by both people telecom and Swiftel would be retained due to the combined entity’s “enormous growth”. Both Swiftel and people telecom use the Telstra network to deliver data and telephony services.

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