Brothel operators will soon be able to send video clips of prostitutes direct to the mobile phones of potential clients Hong Kong's booming sex industry, including soft porn, erotic video links and sex services delivered direct to mobile phones, is helping to drive the next generation of the mobile communications revolution, industry analysts say. Police are known to be closely monitoring pimps who are reported to be using the latest technology to offer the services of prostitutes. It is understood that some pimps are storing digital images of prostitutes on their mobile phones, which they then show potential clients. But with new technology, due to be released in Hong Kong later this month, brothel operators will soon be able to send still and video images of prostitutes direct to a customers phone. With Hutchison Whampoa poised to launch third generation (3G) mobile communications this month, it is estimated the global market in mobile phone sex will be worth $12.76 billion by 2005. District Commander of Mongkok police station Chief Superintendent To Chun-wai, who ordered his vice squad to investigate the latest reports, said: 'We still do not have 3G technology in Hong Kong, and to send images by text message would be too expensive. I am convinced most of their [pimps'] practices are aimed at cutting costs.' He appealed for anybody with information about vice activities to contact his office. Playboy.com recently signed a deal with 3G services operated by Hutchison Whampoa to include pictures and video clips from Playboy Enterprises Inc to be available in Hong Kong. A spokesman for 3 UK - Hutchison's 3G arm in Britain, to whom calls were referred - was not available for comment last night. But it has been reported in British media that an executive has been given the task of developing ways of offering 'soft-core pornography' over 3G mobile phones. Hutchison apparently views pornography as a lucrative market. The Playboy deal represents the US adult firm's entry into 3G mobile services, which use improved downloading technology to bring multimedia content to phones. 'Playboy has always been committed to making its content available through emerging technologies and new platforms,' Playboy chief executive Christie Hefner said. Both the sex industry and mobile phone firms believe that 3G handsets represent an unprecedented opportunity to sell sex. In the United Kingdom and Japan where 3G is already operational, this is proving to be the case. Referring to the phenomenon, one operator told Britain's Observer newspaper: 'People love mobiles. Almost every adult has one and many will buy the new third-generation sets. People also love the internet. '3G phones combine the mobile phone and the internet. And if you see how many people use the Net for sex, you do not have to be a genius to see how they will use their new phones.'