Mannesmann takes CallNet into Europe

Expands toll-free model

CallNet Plc has jumped into bed with German communications giant Mannesmann to offer toll-free access to the Net across Europe. The plan is to replicate what CallNet has achieved in Britain as part of a wider integrated telecommunication tie-up between the two companies. The deal is with Mannesmann ipulsys, a division of the global communications giant launched late last year to develop a range of voice and data services. Mannesmann was recently acquired by Vodafone. CallNet CEO, Paul Goodman-Simpson, said: "The integrated Internet, fixed line and mobile markets are set to explode across Europe and we needed a partner to work with us to maximise the opportunity. "Time to market is critical in this industry and Mannesmann ipulsys gets us to market faster. It's as simple as that." The first initiative will be to roll out "no strings" Internet service across Europe using CallNet's proprietary low-cost Internet technology, "M@ilTV". The company says this will be closely followed by fully integrated communications -- fixed, mobile, Internet, unified messaging and ecommerce. "We are not just talking about 'free', no strings Internet, we are delivering it now in the UK," said Goodman-Simpson. CallNet launched its low-cost Net access service late last year although this was not trouble-free. In return, Net users must route their voice calls via CallNet. ®

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