Immigration goes hi-tech

IMMIGRATION Officials assigned to clearing people arriving by sea are to receive mobile notebook computers, saving them the trouble of having to lug large files out to ships as they arrive in Hongkong.

Hutchison Mobile Data has been awarded a $3.4 million turnkey contract by the Hongkong Government to supply hardware, services and maintenance to the Immigration Department.

Hutchison will provide a system for linking the Immigration Department's mainframe-based clearing system to its own Public Mobile Radio Network. Using IBM's PCradio terminals, Immigration officers will have real-time wireless access to all relevant data stored on department computers.

According to Hutchison Mobile managing director Mr Waleed Hanafi, the IBM PCradio was chosen as the terminal equipment because it could take rough handling and it features an integrated radio modem.