Australia’s Telstra Corp. and Hong Kong-based Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. (PCCW) formally launched Thursday three joint-venture telecommunications companies that they agreed last year to form.

The Telstra-PCCW joint ventures begin operations immediately following the completion of arrangements to contribute assets to the new companies, Telstra and PCCW said in a joint statement Thursday.

The key terms of the strategic alliance remain as announced in October 2000, the companies said. .

The three ventures are as follows:

– an IP (Internet Protocol) network backbone company to be incorporated as Reach Ltd., which merges the international infrastructure assets and businesses of the two carriers and is equally owned by them.

– the Regional Wireless Company (RWC), which will operate across the Asia-Pacific region, starting with PCCW’s mobile business, CSL. Telstra acquired 60 percent of CSL for US$1.68 billion.

– the Internet Data Center Company (IDC), which will combine resources from the two partners to establish a new Asia-Pacific data center business. It will build and operate a network of Internet data centers throughout the Asia/Pacific region, initially located outside PCCW’s and Telstra’s home markets.

The companies said their primary customers will be:

– international and domestic carriers

– value-added service providers such as voice resellers, ISPs (Internet service providers) and ASPs (application service providers)

– local access service providers such as utilities, mobile companies and cable companies

– other divisions inside the two parent companies, Telstra and PCCW.

Telstra, in Sydney, can be reached at PCCW, in Hong Kong, can be reached at

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