Telemedia International, the international arm of Telecom Italia, is a relatively new player in Hong Kong. The company received a licence from the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) in 1993 and set up shop in the territory a year later. 'Hong Kong's [telecom] industry is dynamic and competitive,' said Sergio Bartoletti, executive director of TMI Asia- Pacific. 'Everyone wants to set up in Hong Kong because, if they have a base here, they have easy access to the China market. OFTA is managing quite well: the rules of the game are the same for everyone, so everyone has a chance.' But Mr Bartoletti has one gripe: the domination by Hongkong Telecom whose rights extend until 2006. TMI provides telecommunications services to international companies and has more than 100 bases around the world. In the Asia-Pacific, the firm has offices in Japan, Australia, Singapore and India. 'Our motto is to think locally, manage globally,' Mr Bartoletti said. In Hong Kong, its clients include almost every Italian company - from BCI to Benneton - as well as media organisations such as the Asian Wall Street Journal. TMI supplies include data, messaging (e-mail, fax, telex) networking and video conferencing services. However, the latter has yet to gain popularity in the territory. 'Video conferencing is not ideal for starting up negotiations, but it is an effective tool for ongoing business,' Mr Bartoletti said. Last week, TMI Hong Kong added its International Virtual Private Network (IVPN) service, which provides international voice and fax networks for multinational corporations. The service is offered at TMI's branches across the world and the Hong Kong team is pleased OFTA has granted it a licence to do the same in the territory. IVPN offers the features and performance of a private network but is delivered through a shared network which is managed on behalf of the company by TMI.