Microsoft Partners with Softbank and Global Crossing to Increase Broadband Connectivity in Asia
HAMILTON, Bermuda, REDMOND, Wash., and TOKYO, September 8, 1999 — Microsoft, Softbank and Global Crossing today announced a joint venture to bring increased broadband connectivity to the Asian region. The venture, called Asia Global Crossing, will create an advanced fiber optic communications network connecting business centers in the East Asian region to Global Crossing’s worldwide fiber optic network. Microsoft and Softbank also committed to purchasing at least $200 million in Global Crossing Network capacity over the next three years.
The network, to be completed by June 2001, will connect cities in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Korea and the Philippines with 17,700 kilometers of terrestrial and undersea fiber optic cable, giving the region unprecedented access to a seamless broadband network for a variety of services including Web hosting, electronic commerce and low-cost, high-quality telephony. In the future, the venture intends to expand the network to include Thailand, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.
“Asia provides one of the richest markets for us and yet is currently underserved in gaining access to the global telecommunications system,” said Microsoft president Steve Ballmer. “The future of our business and telecommunications is increasingly linked, and our interest in the telecom field is broad. Our strategy is to partner with providers who can provide the interconnectivity we need to deliver advanced broadband services and software. Global Crossing and Softbank have complementary capabilities that make them ideal partners for Microsoft in this critically important part of the world.”