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Net kiosks UK bound

PERTH’S PieNetworks will ship 100 Internet kiosks to the UK following a deal with NWP Communications Limited, the largest independent provider of payphones in the UK.

The kiosks will be installed in motorway service stations, hotels and shopping centres throughout the UK in a major trial that will run until the end of 2001. All the kiosks will be installed by the end of April.

The managing director of Pie (ASX:PIE), Campbell Smith, said the trial could lead to a major rollout of kiosks across the UK in collaboration with NWP Communications.

The deputy managing director of NWP Communications, Derek O’Neill, said this contract was the logical next step in the company’s plan to provide a public Internet network in the UK.

“After an extensive search for Internet kiosk providers, we selected Pie Networks as a strategic partner because of its strength, ease-of-use, technical robustness, network management systems and round-the-clock customer support,” he said.

NWP Communications Ltd, formed in 1990, is second only to British Telecom in the UK payphone market, and Deutsche Telecom in the German payphone market.

Mr Smith said the NWP Communications trial was a significant business opportunity for PieNetworks.

“Research suggests the wider UK kiosk market could be worth more than USD$500 million over the next five years,” he said.

“Given our early entry to the market and success, Pie Networks is very excited about the growth prospects for our UK business.”

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