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A Chinese operator has agreed to enter into multiple partnerships with Hong Kong as the city bolsters its effort to accelerate its smart city ambitions.

China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) formally announced a number of partnerships with Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) as part of Hong Kong’s overall strategic plan to transform the region.

The collaborations will have a keen focus on autonomous vehicles, 5G, AI and Internet of Things. The partnership between China Mobile and ASTRI will see them work closely on all of the emerging technologies aforementioned above.

In addition to this, it was disclosed that the Chinese mobile player will fund the institute’s R&D of an edge computing platform that could potentially overcome the inadequacies of cloud computing. The new platform could also enable faster data processing and analysis that are a necessity in order to support and facilitate the ultra-low latency applications required for autonomous driving.

CMHK and ASTRI have also announced plans to conduct an autonomous vehicle trial over 6-12 months at Hong Kong’s Science Park. The trial will be on a 5G network and other research on related technologies will be explored.

Sean Lee, CMHK CEO, said the promotion and development of 5G are important elements in establishing Hong Kong as a smart city. The operator also announced it is working with HKSTP on various 5G technology-related projects.

Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP, said: “We are pleased to see that 5G technology has achieved positive trial results at Hong Kong Science Park. We will continue to work with our partners in the innovation and technology ecosystem to promote the co-creation and applications of 5G technologies in various scopes, and achieve Hong Kong’s vision of a smart city through joint efforts.”

CMHK was the first operator to complete field testing using the 28GHz band during a 5G trial at Science Park.