The new telecommunications giant is set to dominate the local Internet market and move into the mainland, whose subscriber base is predicted to double every six months, experts say. The merger means the Pacific Century Group, the umbrella body of which Pacific Century CyberWorks is the listed arm, will have access to 500,000 Cable & Wireless HKT Internet subscribers as well as its broadband cable lines, capable of reaching 95 per cent of SAR households. C&W HKT's Internet subscriptions make up 29 per cent of the 1.7 million registered Net users and is the highest of the SAR's 159 service providers. About 50,000 Internet users subscribe to C&W HKT's broadband service and Pacific Century Group expects to launch its own satellite-linked broadband channels this year in a joint venture with US giant microchip maker Intel. 'This means Pacific Century Group is in a position to dominate broadband Internet connections via both ground cables and satellites,' said Hong Kong Information Technology Federation president Anthony Au Wai-hung. The Li empire's connections with the mainland Government and businesses would be an advantage. According to Productivity Council E-commerce Centre manager Kevin Ng Che-wing, the mainland has nine million Internet users. 'There are too many mainland portals for any Hong Kong company to dominate, but when the mainland opens up its telecommunication market under World Trade Organisation membership, Richard Li would at least have a head start,' Mr Ng said.