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March 10, 1988

THE PINK TELEPHONE COMPANY LAYS DOWN GAUNTLET TO BRITISH TELECOM, NORTON

By CBR Staff Writer

The Pink Telephone Company Ltd, launched in London yesterday, is combining forces with Mercury Communications Ltd to attack British Telecom head-on across a spectrum of facility management services. Pink will offer business customers access onto the Mercury Network via a smart box. This identifies those calls that can be routed more economically across the Mercury figure of-eight fibre optic trunk network, thus cutting trunk call costs by 25% and some international routes by 10%, the company claims. In addition, Pink will handle the equipment installation, traffic monitoring and billing plus maintenance in a roll-out plan, which will be charged to the customer under one tariff. Pink general manager Carlos Maidana said the firm is restricted to selling facilities management features for the time being but would be negotiating with Mercury to resell the 2200 trunk service. At the moment Mercury is seeing how we get on with the present arrangement he said. Mercury sees the tie-up as a significant step in developing its dealer network, started last year, although it confesses to having qualms about being allied to such a gimmicky name. A spin-off from the ADS Ltd communication systems group formed two years ago, Pink has set its sights on becoming the number two telecommunications hardware supplier in the UK and has publicly thrown down the gauntlet to current number two, UKP30m-a-year Norton Communications in which Siemens AG is overwhelming majority shareholder: We believe there is apathy in the UK market, where the attitude is get in, get out and get a margin commented ADS managing director Stewart Hamilton.

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