Asia's telecom stars 2008

05 May 2008

This year's 11th Telecom Asia Awards was a mix of fresh and familiar faces.

The big winner on the night was Australian incumbent Telstra. Following in the footsteps of SK Telecom last year, it claimed the double of Best Mobile and Best Asian Carrier, while Pacnet's Bill Barney took home the CEO prize, and PCCW and BT maintained their grip on the broadband and managed services categories.

It wasn't the first time the Aussie incumbent had stood on the winners' podium, taking the Best Telco Transformation trophy last year. In their citation, judges said Telstra's corporate transformation program was one of the factors in its success, as well as the carrier's 'bold technology leadership' in its 3G rollout.

Bill Barney, the well-known industry figure, was voted in for his role in making Pacnet (formerly Asia Netcom) 'one of Asia's biggest bandwidth owners and a regional ISP and managed services provider,' the judges said.

UK-based Inmarsat broke through to win its first award, while NTT Communications - the 2005 Managed Services and Best Asian Carrier winner - scooped up the Best Wholesale prize this year.

The Innovation of the Year award, presented for the first time, went to Bangladesh cellco Grameenphone for CellBazaar, a platform that allows users to trade goods and services via a mobile phone.

Among the familiar faces were PCCW, which carried off the broadband prize for the fourth year in a row; BT Asia-Pacific, a third-time winner of the managed services trophy; and PLDT, winner of the Best Emerging Market Carrier award for the fourth time in the last five years.

Bharti Airtel, last year's best emerging market carrier, won the India category for the third time.
And in the Best New Tech category, judges voted HSPA the technology to have had the most disruptive impact on the Asian telecom market in the past 12 months.

The awards night, sponsored by Intec, was held in Phuket on April 8.

The Winners' List

Best Asian Telecom Carrier
1. Telstra Corp (Australia)
2. BT Asia-Pacific (UK)
3. PCCW (Hong Kong)

Telecom CEO of the Year

1. Bill Barney, Pacnet (Hong Kong)

Best Mobile Carrier

1. Telstra Corp. (Australia)

Best Broadband Carrier

1. PCCW (Hong Kong)

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