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Cable & Wireless and PremiumServe Jointly Solve Internet Micro Payment Problem


PremiumServe, the click-to-pay online billing company, today (15 August 2001) announced the launch of its new Internet billing network developed in conjunction with Cable & Wireless, the global telecommunications group. The PremiumServe secure billing system will enable end users to pay for access to online content via their normal telephone account, providing consumers with a safe mechanism for online transactions, as well as the reassurance of transparent pricing by means of an established premium rate service. Cable & Wireless has provided PremiumServe with an IP network and web hosting solution to support this service.

In developing this solution with PremiumServe, Cable & Wireless has combined the functionality of its Premium Rate service with its IP infrastructure and expertise. The new billing platform, introduced after a successful trial period, has the potential to speed up the introduction and development of pay per view/play online content, such as music concerts, sports events, competitions, horoscopes, gaming and other future applications. This development presents content providers with a sound commercial basis on which to build business solutions. The jointly developed platform provides websites/content owners with a total solution portfolio, not previously available including:

- free to install billing solution for online content

- guaranteed network availability offering unrivalled network capacity for thousands of simultaneous users (up to 2000)

- access to Cable & Wireless' network support and infrastructure

- state of the art hosting at Cable & Wireless' Internet Solutions Centre in Swindon


Russell Allen, CEO, PremiumServe, commented: "We are witnessing the end of the totally free web, so customer service standards including the accuracy and ease of account billing will become more important. For instance, if a music fan makes a decision to buy the rights to watch a concert online they want to receive the service uninterrupted and also get charged accurately and swiftly for the privilege. Put simply, the Cable & Wireless and PremiumServe working relationship offers this confidence factor to Website owners to pass onto the Internet paying public ".

Allen concluded, "Indications are that many websites intend to introduce premium content to their sites and therefore require simple billing mechanisms. By linking the Cable & Wireless network with PremiumServe's advanced billing software we are in a position to solve the micro-billing problems of site owners."

Andrew McGrath, President, Service Providers,Cable & Wireless commented: "Cable & Wireless is committed to working with the industry to develop robust, reliable and trustworthy methods for secure billing of content and services over the Internet. Internet billing is a huge growth area and we are happy to be working with PremiumServe in this innovative way to address the changing commercial dynamics of the Internet."


About PremiumServe

PremiumServe provides a secure click-to-pay Internet billing solution. The system allows the charges to be made to the end-users' normal telephone bill and does not require any form filling or disclosure of personal details. The software allows websites to charge users in a number of ways for content, digital downloads, subscriptions, low value e-commerce purchases and charity donations.


About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with revenue of over #8 billion (US$11 billion) in the year to 31 March 2001 and customers in 70 countries. Cable & Wireless' focus for future growth is on IP (Internet Protocol) and data services and solutions for business customers. It is developing advanced IP networks and value-added services in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in support of this strategy. With the capability of its global IP infrastructure and its strength in key markets, Cable & Wireless holds a unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business customers.

For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to http://www.cw.com


For PremiumServe:

Russell Allen
Managing Director
0207 808 7104
07711 030616
Russell@premiumserve.net


For Cable & Wireless:

Nicola Porter
020-7315-4031
nicola.porter@cw.com
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