We will provide our customers with 'personal assistants' who will take care of their every need. We'll make you feel like you really are talking to a personal assistant, not a stranger at the end of the phone. SINCE winning a pager service licence from the Hongkong Government last August, the staff of Pacific Telecommunications have been hard at work getting the operation off the ground. In the intervening nine months, they have managed to put together a complete paging system with a network of transmitters that covers Hongkong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. Pacific Telecommunications, a partnership between Hongkong-based Pacific Capital and Rogers Cantel Mobile of Canada, launches its full-secretarial paging service today. Officiating at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the company's new retail shop at Nathan Road in Yau Ma Tei at midday will be Pacific Capital managing director Mr Wellen Sham and guest of honour Mr Alexander Arena, the telecommunications consultant to the Hongkong Government. The aim of Pacific Telecommunications, having been awarded the licence, is to take paging service in the territory to a higher level. Fully aware of the competition it faces, the company says the aspects that will make its operation stand out from the range of paging services currently available on the market will be the friendliness of its staff, its reliability and its accuracy. ''We will provide our customers with 'personal assistants' who will take care of their every need,'' said Pacific Telecommunications director Mr Cheung Kam Foo of the Pacific Telecom 1308 Personalised Secretarial Paging Services. The personal assistants are specially trained by the company, and the ratio of staff to customers will be low to provide the high level of service planned. ''We'll make you feel like you really are talking to a personal assistant, not a stranger at the end of the phone,'' Mr Cheung said. And to add a further personal touch, customers will be addressed by name when they call the station, and will not have to quote a number, as is the case with many paging operations at present. Customers will be able to make restaurant reservations and have a taxi called for them, among other things - all through the assistants. Reminders of meetings will be another feature offered. Although the company is not unique in offering secretarial paging services, it is the only one offering this service exclusively. Other companies, said Mr Cheung, offered it as part of conventional paging services. In addition to the secretarial services, Pacific Telecommunications' customers will have access to all manner of conventional paging information, such as stock market figures, gold prices, winning Mark Six numbers, typhoon signal information and special news. Punters who have the company's alpha-numeric pagers will even be able to learn the results of the races at Sha Tin and Happy Valley immediately after they are run. Information will be updated at regular intervals and the service will run 24 hours a day. The equipment used to provide the service would be the most advanced available, said Mr Cheung. The use of a fault-tolerant computer means the system will suffer no down-time, and the transmitters will be the most up-to-date. The company will initially open two large retail shops; as well as the one in Kowloon, there will be one in Causeway Bay. The pagers available through Pacific Telecommunications - initially there will be three models offering various functions - will be competitively priced, according to Mr Cheung, who added that the target for the number of subscribers signed on in the first year was ''aggressive''. So what comes after the paging service for the company? According to Mr Cheung: ''Paging will be an entry point for our company; we are aiming at a full range of telecommunications services, including cellular telephone services and ones which are strategic and have a future. ''We aim to make our services more comprehensive.'' As to specific plans, he said: ''We will certainly be bidding for the next cellular phone licence.'' This is expected to come up for tender late next year. Pacific Capital, a Taiwanese-backed company, was part of a consortium which unsuccessfully bid for the fourth mobile phone licence in the territory last year. Mr Cheung said that, by the time it came to apply for the fifth licence, the company would have demonstrated its commitment to Hongkong, unlike other ''consortiums which have failed [in previous bids] and then disappeared. We have stayed and we have invested and shown we have a long-term vision.'' Although he admitted that the mobile telephone business was a very competitive one, just like the one involving pagers, he said there ''is still a lot of room for newcomers if you position yourself correctly''. The company already has a partner with which it will bid for the fifth mobile phone network - Rogers Cantel, Canada's only nation-wide cellular network operator, which has more than 100,000 subscribers. Mr Cheung said other companies would be welcome to join them if they had something to offer to the partnership. But the company has even bigger long-term plans on its mind. It hopes it will be able to participate in developing a compatible telecommunications network in Greater China - the mainland, Hongkong and Taiwan. Mr Cheung is uncertain just how soon this vision will materialise. He said a lot would depend on the liberalisation of the sector in China and Taiwan, but ''we will be ready when this is ready'', he said.