Phone 'rings the changes'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 September, 1997, 12:00am

The final leg of the Ericsson Corporate Golf League became a technology forum when the hosts unveiled a product which they say will revolutionise office communications in Hong Kong.

Corporate golfers saw the DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony) business cordless telephone system which Ericsson plans to launch on the Hong Kong market next month.

The technology, which involves rechargeable lightweight (200-gram) telephone hand receivers, allows a user to be accessible at all times within the range of the system.

It can perform the same functions as a normal phone without the charges associated with mobile phones.

The system includes a radio exchange, base station and hand-held receiver. The exchange connects to any private branch exchange (PBX) while the base station is mounted on a wall. The cordless receiver is functional indoors within 50 metres of the base station and 400 metres outside. The DECT costs $30,000 and above.

Charles Henshaw, Ericsson's general manager, fixed and cellular networks division, said the corporate golf league was an ideal forum for displaying the system as the players represented companies which could benefit from it.

'This is an ideal corporate tool for big companies like [Ericsson Corporate Golf League teams] Alfred Dunhill, Standard Chartered and Northwest Cargo as it allows their staff to keep in contact with each other at all times while reducing communication costs.

'It also reduces the hierarchy associated with mobile phones. Sure, it can be used by executives, but it can also be used by people further down in the organisation who are mobile from one office to another but need to be in contact the whole time.' Reflecting on the first year of the Ericsson Corporate Golf League, Mr Henshaw said the company was pleased with its involvement as it had provided a useful tool for developing business.

'The golf has been a tremendous vehicle because it has given us insight into our customers and allowed us to make connections with people we might not normally meet,' he said.

Ericsson has long been involved in motor sport in the region, having sponsored several cars in the Hong Kong to Beijing Rally and the 555 Rally in Beijing. It also sponsors the Ericsson Ice Hockey 5s and tennis tournaments.

The Swedish company recently co-sponsored the Singapore Open, one of four major tournaments on the Asian PGA Omega Tour.

Between September 11 and 14 it will sponsor a new event, the US$500,000 Asia-Pacific Ericsson Masters, to be played at Bintan Lagoon, Indonesia.

'Golf in Asia is popular and it's been a natural extension to our various sponsorships,' Mr Henshaw said.

'We have invited a lot of corporate guests during the six months of the tournament and everyone has enjoyed it.'