PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2006, 12:00am

Driving home the message

Dubbed the 'prodigy' of the industry, Hong Kong Broadband Network chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay has always succeeded in grabbing media headlines and market attention with his no-nonsense comments and eye-catching advertising campaigns.

While investors in the company may not have seen many returns so far, HKBN at least wants to be socially responsible and, perhaps, win a more positive image - even in the eyes of the city's motorists.

Earful recently spotted posters stuck on the back of the company's vans listing a telephone number for road-traffic complaints against the company's own drivers.

'This is the idea of Mr Wong, who was recently in one of our company's vans and witnessed another driver ruthlessly overtake our van, creating unnecessary driving risks,' a spokeswoman said.

'And what if it was one of our own drivers who did this? It could be really dangerous. So our chairman wanted our drivers to have road discipline as they are, after all, driving in the name of HKBN,' she said.

Up close and personal

Hong Kong may be known for its competitive mobile service market, but it certainly does not lack telephone hardware makers capable of using new design and technology to turn a household cordless phone into a slick, intelligent product.

One such company is IDT, a main board-listed consumer electronics maker. The company recently applied for a patent for one of its inventions - a touch-screen, cordless DECT phone with a flat keypad, which makes it more of an 'up close and personal' instrument.

The design prevents any accidental pressing of the buttons on the panel while talking.

Another local company, Binatone, recently signed a contract with Australia's voice-over-IP technology company Freshtel to develop household VoIP handsets for its existing customer base. Claiming to be the world's second-largest maker of digital cordless phones, the firm believes VoIP is the next big thing in telecoms technology and hopes to make it more user-friendly.