BT is closer to gaining a foothold in Asia-Pacific after reports emerged that it has been in high level discussions for several months with Telstra, Australia's national carrier.
Peter Arbery, Telstra's diretor of strategic planning and development, told 'The Times' newspaper: "I can confirm that we have had and expect to have a range of discussions with BT, as well as other major players in our industry, with a view to forming an alliance. We have had a relationship with BT for many years and there has been contact at senior level."
The market in Asia-Pacific has been a prime target for BT since it announced its proposed $20 billion merger with MCI and BT is reported to have also been in talks with Japanese giant NTT for several months.
Telstra is a member of the loosely grouped World Partners alliance, which also pulls in AT&T/Unisource. It is the largest operator in Australia and has ambitions to manage a significant portion of telecomms services in Asia-Pacific. It currently serves India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It has invested $250 million in a long term partnership with the Vietnamese government carrier.
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