Clear Communications

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clear Communications Ltd
Founded 1991
Defunct 2001 - Merged with TelstraSaturn to form TelstraClear
Headquarters Wellington, New Zealand

Clear Communications was a telecommunications company based in New Zealand. Until merging into Telstra's operations in 2001, it was the biggest rival to Telecom New Zealand.


Clear was equally owned by Bell Canada Enterprises, MCI International, Television New Zealand and Todd Corporation Ltd. Clear Communications employed approximately 1000 staff, and had invested more than $250 million in fixed assets in New Zealand.

In addition to utilizing digital microwave telecommunication links owned by Broadcast Communications Ltd (a subsidiary of Television New Zealand), Clear initially leased, then purchased, from New Zealand Rail Limited (in return for a 15% stake in the company, which New Zealand Rail then sold in 1994.[1]) fibre optic cables linking Auckland and Wellington. It also leased fibre optic capacity between Wellington and Christchurch from the Electricorp. The company also had digital microwave links with the major provincial cities of New Zealand. It installed further fibre optic capacity between Wellington and Auckland to increase transmission capacity and provide route diversity. Fibre loops and duct lines were installed in the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch central business districts.

Two separate consortia initially began separate interconnection negotiations with Telecom in December 1989, but by May 1990 had decided to merge their interest to form Clear. By April 1991, Clear was offering domestic and international services.

Clear and Telecom had 25 actual and 19 notional points of interconnect (POI) throughout New Zealand. In the areas served by a notional point of interconnect, calls from Clear's customers were trunked to the nearest Telecom telephone exchange with billing facilities, at which point they were physically handed over to Clear. After conveying the call on its own network, Clear linked back into Telecom's network at the appropriate POI.

Clear achieved approximately 22% of market share in domestic toll services by 1993, reduced to 18% by 1999, and 20% for international toll services.

Initially Clear relied solely on Telecom for international calls, but early in 1992 it commissioned independent facilities. It had its own satellite earth receiving station in Auckland and was a member of the Tasman-2 fibre optic cable consortium linking New Zealand and Australia. It was also a member of the consortium owning the PacRim East fibre optic cable between New Zealand and Hawaii.


In September 1994 Clear began to provide an 0800 freephone service in competition with Telecom. Prior to this, its freephone service had used the code 0508.


In September 1995 Clear reached a new agreement on local service interconnection with Telecom which culminated in a formal local telephone service interconnect agreement in March 1996. This agreement also included new toll bypass interconnect arrangements.


In March 1996, BT plc acquired Bell Canada's 25% stake in Clear. Clear launched an internet service later in 1996 and had about 10,000 customers by May 1997. It also provided the first commercial ATM service and had an ISDN offering.


In June 1999, BT bought the whole of Clear.


In 2000, Clear signed a deal with Vodafone New Zealand to give its customers the use of a mobile network.

Clear was acquired by TelstraSaturn in 2001 to form TelstraClear.