PowerTel takes stake of State

PowerTel takes stake of State

Quiet achiever PowerTel has scored a NSW Government contract for the supply of telecommunication services to Government agencies across the state.

PowerTel investor & media relations manager Sonya Crosby signalled the deal had been sealed on the basis of the extent of bandwidth the telco could offer, coupled with an innovative plan which will guarantee that regional services are maintained.

"One of the key elements of our pitch was the Rural Development Fund, which will see a percentage of every dollar spent in the state funnelled directly into regional projects," Crosby said. "We only aim to provide the infrastructure - the communities themselves will indicate how the funds are to be spent."

According to Crosby, the deal has spent six months in the pipeline, and was hard fought on behalf of Powertel.

"We have put a lot of effort into this deal. We knew that the contract would be awarded over more than sheer size - on one hand we have the cable in the ground."

Crosby is also signalling the deal as an excellent opportunity for the further development of ISPs and online services in non-metropolitan areas. PowerTel is taking advantage of a strategic partnership with Soul Patterson.

"Although they are better recognised as a pharmaceutical company, Soul Patterson has a significant stake in regional telecommunications development. Our partnership has given us great reach into regional areas, through Soul Patterson cabling," Crosby said. "Once regional centres have some decent bandwidth to play with and the possibilities for e-commerce development are endless."

Future development

Formed in 1998, PowerTel represents an amalgamation of US-based telco Williams and a consortium of Australian utilities, a mixture which Crosby believes is ideal for future development in the telecommunications industry.

"Because we are aligned with utilities, we have had access to the local infrastructure. We are laying cable along the gas lines for example," Crosby said, "while on the other hand we can draw on the experience and R&D of a large international player such as Williams."

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