Data communications giant USRobotics (USR) is to establish technical support and logistics centres in Asia to further expand the market for equipment supply in the telecommunications field. Ross Manire, general manager of USR's Chicago-based network services division, yesterday met Hutchison Telecom and Hongkong Telecom's IMS (interactive media services) division, as part of a regional tour to preview sites for subsidiary offices in at least six and possibly seven countries. Hutchison is negotiating with the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta) on the final terms of its PCS (personal communications service) licence, approved for issue by the Joint Liaison Group last month. Wireless data and fax communications, via a personal computer and modem attached to a mobile phone, is one of the innovative services to be supported on the PCS platform , for which six licences will be issued. USR, the world's largest manufacturer of modems and modem cards, has diversified and expanded its product range over the past two years. Mr Manire said his division was now competing in product categories with traditional computer network specialists such as Cisco Systems, 3Com, Cabletron and Bay Networks. All four companies have regional offices in Hong Kong, as well as subsidiaries throughout the region. USR has been on the acquisition trail in the past six months, adding ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) technology and LAN switching devices to its computer networking expertise. USR, with expected revenue this calendar year of US$1.9billion - up from earlier estimates of US$1.6 billion - hosts almost all its manufacturing facilities in the US. The company expects the Asia-Pacific expansion and a parallel European programme to absorb some of the capacity in coming years.