Expansive Internet company Ihug has let an NZ$7.5 million contract so it can compete in the long haul toll market with traditional telcos.
A Wellington-based company, Asnet, was chosen by Ihug to install gateways internationally to enable Ihug to transport long-distance toll calls over it private data network. A pilot of the system is now underway, with over 100 customers using the service in its initial phase.
Ihug has been making a lot of noise recently, including an adventurous television advertising campaign. Although the company hit a snag last year when a hacker gained access to its network and wiped the contents of customer Web sites, it has been going from strength to strength of late. Several months ago it announced it was going hunting for investment dollars to fund growth, which includes purchase of spectrum.
The latest development will see Ihug going head-to-head with existing telcos – further evidence of the convergence of the two markets. The company is looking at the United States and Asia for further growth possibilities.
The new service is open to all, with non-Ihug customers using an access code to dial into the ISP’s network. Later enhancements will include voice and universal messaging and a raft of fax services.
The service will be open to non-Ihug customers next month, with nationwide access. Prices are posted on the Internet, with existing customers receiving a further discount.
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