Cable & Wireless HKT Mobile Services upgrades i.Menu with WAP And strives to become the first "mobile portal" operator.

Cable & Wireless HKT Mobile Services announced today that it is adopting the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to upgrade its i.Menu service, which will allow customers to access the Internet for information and conduct e-commerce using their WAP handsets.

The i.Menu services on the WAP platform can be divided into three main categories matching the business and daily needs of 1010 and One2Free customers. They are 1) Business to Business such as the parcel express tracking service for business customers; 2) Business to Consumer such as airline schedule enquiry and reservation of hotel accommodation; and 3) Consumer to Consumer such as exchange of personal e-mail or buying and selling of second hand merchandise. Customers can choose to view display in either English or Chinese.

Managing Director of Cable & Wireless HKT Mobile Services, William Cheung Kam-hung, said: "We will focus on integrating the mobile phone and the Internet and develop for our customers a true "mobile portal". We see the mobile communications industry evolving, firstly, with the mobile phone becoming a major e-commerce tool, supporting half of all e-commerce business by the year 2002 while the rest would be conducted over the fixed network. Secondly, when the third generation mobile communications services are launched and a more mature technological platform emerges, instead of supporting voice communication, mobile phones will be the prime tool for multimedia data transmission."

i.Menu, the first service application in the world to employ USSD technology, which was launched in August this year marked the Company first step in establishing itself as a "mobile portal". It enables customers to access different kinds of information and use value-added services using their mobile phone. The adoption of WAP technology today is the latest efforts of the Company to further enhance the i.Menu service platform. The WAP technology complemented with WAP handsets will allow customers to not only access information on the Internet but also use different e-commerce services in the near future.

On the development of the i.Menu service, Mr. Cheung said: "i.Menu will continue to be our service platform and, with the introduction of high speed data transmission technologies, namely the GPRS and HSCSD technologies, customers can expect i.Menu to cover an even more comprehensive scope of contents."

Mr. Cheung added that the Company is committed to fostering long-term partnership with its customers, hence, it has always striven to meet the different needs of customers and to help improve the quality of living of individual customers and the operation efficiency of businesses.

Starting from 1 November 1999, 1010 and One2Free customers can register on the respective web site to order the Nokia 7110 WAP handset. They will also be able enjoy (WAP-based) i.Menu service free of charge for three months.

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