Australia sees e-commerce roll-out in consumer, B2B and medicine


Amino signs Strategic Alliance Agreement with Australian Telco - Cable & Telecoms Limited

Cambridge, England - 29 March 2000 - Amino Communications, the UK-based developer of technology for network appliances, has entered into a key development, manufacturing and marketing agreement with

emerging Australian telco, Cable & Telecoms (CAT). The two companies will work together to market Amino's network appliances and e-commerce products into the Australian business and household community through CAT's own planned national digital network.

The first project to employ Amino's products is the new Telemedicine facility, due to be opened by Queen Elizabeth on 1st April 2000. Costing AUS $ 20 million to build and equip, the new Telemedicine facility on the University of Western Australia's campus in Perth, Australia provides health professionals with surgical skills and medical trauma training via CAT's video-conferencing, Internet and telecommunications services. The Amino secure smart card reader will be used by health professionals to access medical and surgical information derived from the Telemedicine facility. The facility's co-ventures includes the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK of which Queen Elizabeth is a patron.

'The Telemedicine facility in Perth is just one of our flagship projects and we're very proud to be involved with the project,' said Ross Horley, Technical Director at Cable & Telecoms who designed the communications systems for the Telemedicine facility. 'We are excited to be working with Amino to develop, amongst other things, a versatile, multi-purpose smart card reader for this and other projects.'

A major priority for CAT will be the manufacture and marketing of an Amino designed set-top box. This unit provides true video and/or audio on-demand; pay-per-view TV; home or business banking and high speed Internet access. It has a built-in high encryption e-commerce module and is digital to analog compatible.

Andrew Waller, a founding director of CAT, said 'we have spent considerable time and effort locating the most advanced VOD product available in the world. We believe true video and indeed audio on demand through the television set, will be huge. Without question the products and development on going within Amino are world leading.' CAT has been exclusively licensed to market the Amino/CAT video-on-demand product globally and will also have access to a wide range of Amino's technologies.

'There is a tremendous amount of synergy between the two companies,' added Martyn Gilbert, Managing Director of Amino Communications. 'Cable & Telecoms were initially attracted by rapid time to market solutions, in particular for set-top boxes. But when Cable & Telecom looked at how our IntAct architecture could easily be used to design custom network appliances for a wide range of uses, they decided that they could use our technology to market a whole range of products to their customers. In particular, our secure smart card support technologies are highly relevant to Cable & Telecoms' Telemedicine and e-commerce initiatives.'

About Cable & Telecom

Cable & Telecoms (CAT) is an emerging telecommunications Carrier, offering an extensive suite of telecommunications services to the Australian market. Its objective is to create a Carrier unique in its field. CAT's focus is to move 'beyond the socket' to provide a range of products and services to customers as end-to-end solutions. CAT's Carrier license was obtained soon after the acquisition of Commcord Communications, in April 1999. Commcord is a specialist fibre optic and network engineering and design company, providing services ranging from network design to laying of fibre optic cable. In the ten years to date Commcord has worked on most if not all-major network rollouts that have occurred in Australia.

Through strategic relationships, joint ventures and further acquisition, CAT has added a number of innovative services to the solutions offered, compared to the main stream Australian market. Through the use of technologies such as the Amino products CAT intend not only to provide alternative services to the retail and residential markets but also provide a greater level of access between the residential, corporate and government sectors.

About Telemedicine

Telemedicine is all about the use of communications technologies such as Internet, video and other broadband services to transmit medical information. Video conferencing is used for diagnosing or educational purposes. This would allow, for example, a doctor in one hospital to talk with a patient or doctor in another area to speed diagnoses and their accuracy. A surgeon can watch a procedure remotely and consult to make sure things go smoothly. Medical students can learn medical procedures without having to be in the operating room. The use of telemedicine to reach underserved areas such as rural sections of the country or military bases in other countries is a huge field of telemedicine being researched now.


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