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HK firm has answer to cell phone rings

HK firm has answer to cell phone rings

  • 2015-01-14
 

HONG KONG, China -- A Hong Kong company hopes to sell signal-jamming technology to block those irritating cell phone calls in hospitals, places of worship and restaurants.

The technology, previously used by the military to thwart lethal missiles, has been modified by Hong Kong's Champion Technology Holdings for commercial use.

"This is a way to enforce the etiquette of mobile phone usage where polite persuasion has failed," said Paul Kan, chairman of Champion, at the launch of its MuteTone product on Wednesday.

Champion hopes to sell the mobile signal-blocking device in about 50 countries at around US$1,600 each.
Regulatory snags

The response from would-be customers so far had been encouraging, Kan said, although Champion had not yet been able to surmount regulatory hurdles in its home base.

Hong Kong's telecom regulator rejected at least one similar application from another company on the grounds that the signals were too strong and could interfere with phones and equipment outside the area of intended use.

Champion said it was currently negotiating with the Hong Kong government to gain legal status for the device.

Kan said the product, in which his company has invested about $30 million, was capable of being used in small areas and also areas up to 2,500 square meters.

"Legally, this is a gray area," said Kan. "As long as the device is used in a private place and the signal is not spilling out to unintended areas, I don't think there's a law that says you can't use it."

Kan said Champion will sell the device in Hong Kong regardless of the regulator's verdict.
'Every household should have one'

In other corners of the world the market for the product could be immense.

Kan believes "every household should have one", to reclaim the peace and quiet the world once had before the onslaught of mobile phones.

Champion said it was completing a deal to sell 150,000 MuteTone units to a Middle Eastern country to block cell phone rings in places of worship.

France is also poised to pass a law that would allow the installation of signal-blocking devices in public places such as museums and libraries, he said.

In Brazil, Kan said mobile phones had been smuggled into prisons and become a security risk.

Champion shares ended 5.42 percent lower at HK$0.192 on Wednesday. The stock has gained 24.53 percent in value in the last three months.(from CNN.com)

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