Sony to turn Hong Kong ISP business over to PCCW

Sony Corp. will turn over the connectivity side of its Hong Kong broadband business to competitor PCCW IMS Ltd. from early September, it said Tuesday.

From September 6, customers of Sony Corp. of Hong Kong Ltd.’s So-net service will have their broadband connection supplied by PCCW’s Netvigator broadband unit, said Tatsuya Inada, a spokesman for Sony Communication Network Corp. in Tokyo. Netvigator has supplied the infrastructure for So-net since it launched in Hong Kong in 2001 and so the transfer should be seamless, Sony Hong Kong said in a statement.

The move doesn’t mean So-net will be leaving the Hong Kong market. The content side of its business, which includes both free services, such as e-mail and file storage, and paid-for services, such as wireless access and e-mail protection, will continue and become its core focus in Hong Kong, Inada said.

Monthly service charges will not rise as a result of the transfer, said the statement. After September 6 users will be billed for their connectivity by PCCW and for any content charges by So-net, said Inada.

The decision to quit the connectivity market in Hong Kong comes just over three years after the service was launched. Sony launched So-net in Hong Kong on July 31, 2001.

In addition to Hong Kong, Sony operates ISP services in Japan and Taiwan under the So-net name. The Japanese service had 2.3 million subscribers at the end of June this year and recorded sales of

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