Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Panafon Hellenic Tel (PFHD)

  Print   

Thursday 02 March, 2000

Panafon Hellenic Tel

Launch of Internet Portal,etc

Panafon Hellenic Telecom Co S.A.
2 March 2000

                           

                     PANAFON ANNOUNCES
                THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA


* Panafon  Hellenic  Telecommunications  Company  S.A. ('Panafon'),
  the  leading  provider  of mobile telecommunications  in
  Greece,  announces today that it is becoming an Internet
  Service  Provider  (ISP) and is also launching  its  own
  branded  internet  portal.  Panafon's  Internet  Service
  Provider (ISP) is named 'Panafonet'. The branded  portal
  is   named   'pan.gr',  which  in   Greek   means   'all
  encompassing'.

* Panafonet is well positioned to capture Greece's growing
  internet  market while pan.gr has been  built  to  offer
  personalized  content of high caliber.  Together,  these
  comprise  Panafon's  comprehensive  internet  initiative
  that  will  effectively position the Company to  exploit
  the  full range of opportunities arising from the  rapid
  growth of the internet.

* Panafon's strategy is to become the leading operator  in
  Greece   offering  multimedia  services.  The  Company's
  vision  is  to  further develop its  leadership  from  a
  cellular  telecommunications operator to  an  integrated
  mobile communications and service provider.

* These  initiatives are in line with Vodafone  AirTouch's
  recent  announcements for the launch of a single  global
  and  European  platform and portal for mobile  data  and
  internet,  delivering service and content  worldwide  to
  all  of  its  networks. Panafon's portal  will  also  be
  available to all of Vodafone AirTouch's networks.

* Panafon's initiatives, which are complimentary to  those
  of  Vodafone AirTouch, will be tailored specifically for
  the  Greek market, aiming to capture the internet market
  potential  in the country, particularly in  relation  to
  the synergies with the mobile industry.

PANAFON's Internet Service Provider (ISP) Strategy

* Today  Panafon establishes itself as an Internet Service
  Provider  and  announces the launch of its ISP  business
  unit 'Panafonet'. Panafon's ISP strategy compliments and
  extends,  its  considerable reach in the Greek  telecoms
  market.

* Panafonet  will  enter  the Internet  Telecoms  Services
  market, and will offer the following services:
  -     Basic  Internet Services (to Corporate and  Retail
        users), i.e.:
        -    PSTN / ISDN and mobile access
        -    E-mail, Domain Name, etc.
        -    Internet access over leased lines
  -    IP based Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  -    Connectivity services (leased lines, Frame  Relay,
       ATM)
  -    International connectivity services
  -    Closed User Groups (CUGs)
  -    Integrated services

* Additional  revenue  streams will derive  from  Internet
  access   services,  data  communication   services   and
  integrated telecoms services.

* The  Panafonet service will go through a pilot phase for
  approximately  one  month  during  which  it   will   be
  available to a limited number of users.


Panafon's Portal Strategy

* Panafon's  strategy is to lead the market by  keeping  a
  step ahead of commoditisation.

* It  is  Panafon's intention to create an autonomous  and
  independent business entity to act as a vehicle for  the
  development,   operation   and   commercialisation    of
  Panafon's presence in the internet.

* Regarding  pan.gr, Panafon will effectively  consolidate
  the benefits deriving from this initiative as it will be
  maintaining majority control. Minority partners will  be
  sought  from the content provision sector. This aims  to
  set the model for developing Panafon's internet business
  going forward.

* Panafon's portal will offer three distinct categories of
  content services, namely:
  -    General information and  e-commerce,
  -    Personalised information and services, and
  -    Panafon Internet-Mobile convergence services

* More  specifically  customers will  be  able  to  access
  general  information  services and  content  information
  related  to lifestyle, travel, music, cinemas, theatres,
  clubs, restaurants, cultural events and other areas,  as
  well  as  search  engines  to  facilite  navigation.  E-
  commerce  applications  will  initially  include   stock
  trading   and   e-shops.  The  personalised  information
  services  will  allow  customers to retrieve  customised
  news,  real time stock information, horoscopes, weather,
  and  traffic data amongst others. The Panafon  Internet-
  Mobile  convergence  section of the portal,  will  allow
  customers  to  access Netoffice services  such  as   web
  mail,  personal  mobile  phone book  and  other  similar
  applications through the internet via Panafonet.

* Panafon  in  line with Vodafone AirTouch, believes  that
  mobile data and the internet represents the biggest  new
  growth  opportunity of this decade. The Company  expects
  to  generate  considerable revenue streams as  customers
  gradually take up data and internet services. These  are
  expected to be derived from three different sources:
  - Advertisment, banners and sponsorships
  - E-commerce  transactions such as on-line  trading,  e-
    shops and later travel bookings etc.
  - Value  Added  Services related to the  convergence  of
    GSM and the Internet, exploiting WAP technologies.

* Panafon  is also announcing today the names of a  number
  of  key partners which confirm the  leading position  of
  our  portal.  These  partners,  listed  below,  are  all
  leaders  in  their  respective fields and  will  provide
  content  in the following areas:
  - Imako / Powernet       ->     Lifestyle information/content
  - In-Target              ->     Technology partner, Site design
                                  & Development and Greek search
                                  engine /  Real time stock info
                                  and Portfolio management
  - Flash radio            ->     General news, athletics
  - Naftemporiki newspaper ->     Financial news
  - One Way Technostores   ->     e-shops
  - First Data Systems(FDS)->     e-bookshop
  - P & K securities       ->     stock trading
  - N.T.U.A  **            ->     traffic reports  and  weather
                                  analysis
  - Google                 ->     www search engine

  Listed  above are the initial content providers. Panafon
  will  also  be  announcing further partnerships  with  a
  number  of  important global content  providers  in  the
  future.
  
Panafon's  Advantages  for the successful  launch  of  its
Internet Strategy

* Panafon  has  an unmatched presence in the Greek  market
  with  one  of  the  strongest  brand  names,  technology
  leadership   in   all   major   mobile   standards   and
  applications,  enhanced by the synergies  stemming  from
  the   Vodafone  AirTouch  relationship  and   a   strong
  financial track record.

* Panafon  is strongly positioned to capture the  enormous
  growth  expected from mobile data and the internet.  The
  Company,  which has operated in Greece since  1993,  has
  achieved a model of business excellence based on  strong
  management  skills  and leading management  systems.  In
  1999,  Panafon  added almost 600,000  customers  to  its
  customer base, to bring the total to over 1.7 million.

* Throughout  the  seven years of its operations,  Panafon
  has  developed  significant expertise in  many  critical
  business  areas.  These distinct advantages,  that  will
  help  to  differentiate Panafon from its competitors  in
  the launch of its portal, are:
  - Global  scale  and  international access  to  Vodafone
    AirTouch's   customers  and  the  Greek   communities
    overseas
  - Extensive  expertise  in the areas of  communications,
    information technology and infrastructure
  - New services and applications development
  - Customer base in excess of 1.7 million users
  - High   technical  base  and  access   to   future
    technologies (Cellular & Internet) from Vodafone AirTouch
  - More  than  2,200  points  of  sale  within  Panafon's
    current distribution network
  - Partnerships  with  established advertising,  internet
    and e-commerce companies
  - Highly  qualified  Customer Services department  (best
    Customer  Care  award  in  Greece,  irrespective   of
    sector, for the years 1998 and 1999)

George  Koronias,  Chief Executive of Panafon,  commented:
'We  share Vodafone AirTouch's global vision to become the
leading mobile multimedia operator.  Panafon's aim is make
the  difference locally by delivering the best  multimedia
information  and services, anytime, anywhere,  to  anyone.
The  critical success factor will be Panafon's  innovation
and speed to market. Today we are announcing our plans for
the  launch  of  this important portal and  ISP  business,
together  with  first-class partnerships  for  information
content  and  access. Internet penetration  in  Greece  is
currently  at a low level, but is growing rapidly  and  we
aim to be at the forefront of the Greek Internet explosion
with the launch of these services.'


** National Technical University of Athens


Contact: George Stefanopoulos
Panafon S.A., Tel: +301 6160061

Lulu Bridges
Tavistock Communications, Tel:  +(44) 171 600 2288

Nicholas Bornozis
Capital Link, Tel: + (1) 212 661 7566


NOT  FOR  DISTRIBUTION OR RELEASE IN  THE  UNITED  STATES,
CANADA OR JAPAN
This press-related material does not constitute or contain
an  offer or solicitation of an offer of securities in the
United States or elsewhere.  The securities are not  being
registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered
or  sold  in the United States absent registration  or  an
exemption from registration.
This  document may only be issued or passed in the  United
Kingdom  to a person who is of a kind described in Article
11(3)  of  the  Financial Services  Act  1986  (Investment
Advertisements) (Exemptions) Order 1996 (as amended) or is
a  person  to whom the document may otherwise lawfully  be
issued or passed on.
  
  Notes to Editors:

1.Panafon's  shares  are quoted on  the  Athens  Stock
  Exchange  and  its GDSs are quoted on the  London  Stock
  Exchange.  The shares began trading on Monday 7 December
  1998.
2.Panafon has 512,500,000 shares in issue.
3.Panafon is a shareholder in:
  Panafon Emporiki (former Panavox)    100.00 per cent
  Panafon Services                     100.00 per cent
  Radio Korassidis Telecom              26.11 per cent
  Unifon                                19.01 per cent
  Mobitel                               25.01 per cent (following
                                        completion of legal
                                        procedures)
4.Panafon  was  awarded a licence  to  operate  a  GSM
  network in Greece for a period of 20 years in August 1992.
  The network commenced operations on 1 July 1993.
5.Panafon's shareholding structure is as follows:
  Vodafone AirTouch Plc         55 per cent
  France Telecom S.A             3 per cent
  Intracom S.A.                 10 per cent
  Free float                    32 per cent

Panafon listings:
Shares:  Athens  SE, Reuters PANr.AT. Bloomberg  PANF  GA.
Nominal  value  GRD 100. ISIN GRS 307 333 005.  SEDOL  556
0349.
GDRs:  LSE  . Reuters PANq.L. Bloomberg PFH GR,  PFHD  LI.
ISIN US 6981 132 060. SEDOL 556 0361.
Rule  144A:  Bloomberg Nasdaq 2250Q US. ISIN US  6981  131
070. SEDOL 230 2629
Indices:  FTSE/ASE  20, FTASE, 3.267%.  Bloomberg  Europe,
BE500, .140%.
BBG Eur Telecom, BETELES, 1.190%. BBG Europ Techn, BETECH,
1.237%.



                                                                                        

a d v e r t i s e m e n t