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C&W HKT, Computer Associates Form ASP Joint Venture

Cable & Wireless HKT Ltd (HKT) and business software maker Computer Associates International Inc (CA) announced Tuesday formed an Application Service Provider (ASP) joint venture.

HKT and CA will invest HK$62 million (US$8 million) to form a 50/50 joint venture. The new company will offer CA's Web-based business software applications to small-to-medium-sized enterprises through HKT's broadband network connections.

According to company officials, the initial ASP offering will include accounting package (ACCPAC) and Manufacturing Resources Planning applications.

It will also employ Public Key Infrastructures that use digital encryption to provide secure transactions over the Internet, company officials said.

The service will be initially charged on a monthly basis, said Hera Siu, general manager of IP solutions and corporate markets for HKT. "We are developing a billing system to charge the less mission-critical applications, such as accounting, on hourly basis," added Siu.

The company expects to offer a complete range of vertical industry applications for inventory control, work-in-process management, finance, payroll and human resources management.

Norman Yuen, deputy chief executive and chief financial officer of HKT, said that the new venture will begin operations in Hong Kong in 3 to 4 weeks, expanding to Greater China in 2001 and the Asia-Pacific region in three years.

Yuen added that the company does not anticipate any major problems in delivering ASP services within Taiwan. However, he said that due to government regulations in China, the company will cooperate with China Telecom to deliver services on the mainland.

The broadband service of HKT has a growth rate of 10,000 new subscribers per month, said Yuen.