REDtone forges into Chinese PBX market

REDtone Technology Sdn Bhd on Thursday announced its foray into the Chinese communications market with expectations of between RM6m (US$1.6m) and RM8m (US$2.1m) in revenue next year.

KUALA LUMPUR--REDtone Technology Sdn Bhd on Thursday announced its foray into the Chinese communications market with expectations of between RM6 million (US$1.6 million) and RM8 million (US$2.1 million) in revenue next year.

The company has appointed Beijing Hollybridge System Integration Co Ltd as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner who will exclusively market and distribute REDtone's TEC communications servers in the Chinese mainland.

REDtone chief executive officer Wei Chuan Beng said the contract is valued at RM18 million (US$4.7 million) over three years. Hollybridge is owned by Hong Kong public-listed Telecom Plus Ltd and Beijing Telecom; it provides total communications solutions to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations in China.

Wei told a media luncheon that China's PBX (private branch exchange) market is valued in excess of RM1.9 billion (US$500m), with a 50 percent annual growth rate.

The Chinese telecommunication market is dominated by Siemens, Nortel, Avaya, Ericsson, and Philips, he said.

On the revenue aspects, Wei said REDtone hopes to make RM2 million (US$0.53 million) this year from its China venture in light of the sluggish economy.

REDtone which is the marketing arm of MSC-status company VMS Technology Sdn Bhd is also looking to make inroads into India and the United Kingdom next year.

On the local front, Wei also said REDtone will appoint two distributors this year to help sell its range of communication servers.

He said the company has about 100 clients here using its communication servers, 70 via a rental model while the rest purchased the equipment direct from REDtone.

Clients include Arthur Anderson, Nestle, Epson, Genting and OCBC Bank.

Wei also said that REDtone will launch "a new component" of its TEC communication servers this September. It is believed to be launched in conjunction with the upcoming MSC-MMA 2001 Expo to be held here early September.

The new 'version' of the server is a combination of PCs and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies, which Wei claimed may be the "first in the world."

REDtone recorded RM12 million (US$3.2 million) of revenue last year, from its Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong markets with RM9 million (US$2.4 million) contributed from the domestic market.

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