Telecom in Hong Kong The old and new economy by sammyc2007


									Telecom in Hong Kong: The old and new economy
Norman K.T. Yuen
Norman K.T. Yuen is deputy chief executive officer of Pacific Century Cyber Works and a member of the company's executive committee. He is also a member of the company's Business-to-Consumers Executive Committee and managing director of Net Enterprises. He previously held the position of deputy chief executive at Cable & Wireless Hong Kong Telecom. Yuen serves on several government advisory committees, including the Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee and the Trade Development Committee.

Strengths, strategy To succeed in the new economy, enterprises must streamline their operations to reduce costs, eliminate inefficiencies and respond to customer demands in an expeditious manner, said Yuen. Prior to deregulation of the telecommunications industry, the most valuable assets a company needed were international and mobile plants and licenses. Today, outside of a local plant, assets of a more intangible nature are necessary: A loyal and sizable customer base, a brand name, and a reputation for reliability. According to Yuen, Pacific Century Cyber Works "is uniquely positioned amongst Hong Kong companies to win on all counts." As for the brand, the Li family name is a known quantity. Chief Executive and Chairman Richard Li is a trailblazer in the communications industry. He built the panAsian satellite television service Star TV in three years' time, attaining a subscription-driven audience of 54 million before selling it to News Corp. for almost $1billion. With the proceeds, Li in 1993 founded Pacific Century Group, one of the largest Internet companies in the world. In 1999, Pacific Century Cyber Works was born, the technology flagship of Pacific Century Group. The goal of PCCW is to become the premier provider of telecommunications, digital technology and new media services. It is well on its way. PCCW has 3.6 million telephone lines or 69 percent market penetration as well as 60 percent of the mobile market and 25 percent of Internet usage. New Economy trends With more applications moving to the Web, the desire for faster Web surfing will create demand for broadband pipes. "Broadband access will come to be seen as essential for human interaction with the Net," said Yuen. Consequently, PCCW's focus is on rolling out thick broadband pipes that allow for high bandwidth Internet access; currently it is the only provider of these pipes. And as the world continues to free itself from wires and cords, PCCW wants to "fill the air" with cheap IP wireless devices so that wired connections will become impractical. The company is also looking to become an enabler and facilitator of e-commerce, capitalizing on its Internet expertise and deep reservoir of customer and partner trust. Yuen acknowledged that there are barriers to e-commerce in Asia, among which are a lack of support services, security concerns, and a cultural bias against electronic transactions. Furthermore, the markets look fragmented and alien to U.S. market leaders and investors. All these things, Yuen believes, can be addressed and overcome.

University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center Institute for International Business and Center for International Business Education & Research

1 Global Executive Forum October 2000

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