Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong has joined forces with Canada's Fixmo to deliver "high-grade" personal data security to smartphone users in the city.
The mobile unit of Hutchison Telecom, 3 Hong Kong, said yesterday that it was the first carrier worldwide to partner with Fixmo, developer of a so-called mobile risk management technology in co-operation with the US National Security Agency.
Amy Lung Pui-ying, the managing director for Hutchison Telecom's mobile operations, said the new "3 Super Safe" application combines anti-theft, anti-virus and data-protection features to help both corporate and consumer smartphone users secure their information.
According to official data, theft of mobile phones has been on the rise in Hong Kong, growing by nearly 25 per cent from 2009 to last year. About 20 mobile phones on average were lost or stolen in the city each day last year. A survey this month by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data found that nearly 90 per cent of smartphone users had no security software on their devices.
Market research firm Ovum said in a report that nearly 70 per cent of all smartphone-owning professionals used their personal device to access corporate data. Almost 80 per cent of all this "bring-your-own-device" activity remained inadequately managed by corporate IT departments, the report said.
The 3 Super Safe application, which is managed by Fixmo, is available for download by 3 Hong Kong subscribers at HK$18 a month. Non-subscribers can also get the app from the Google Play Store, for Android smartphone users, and Apple's online App Store, for iPhone users, but at a rate of HK$28 a month. Fixmo chief Rick Segal said the solution combined the company's "proven defence-grade mobile security technology with 3's world-class services and support".
A 3 Hong Kong spokesman said the two firms started talks to provide the service to the city early this year. The operator had 3.64 million subscribers in Hong Kong and in Macau at the end of June. About 79 per cent were either on 3G or 4G tariff plans.