China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) announced partnerships with Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) to accelerate smart city development in the territory, with a focus on autonomous vehicles.

The mobile operator and ASTRI signed an agreement to collaborate on 5G, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT data exchange. CMHK will fund the institute’s R&D of an edge computing platform, which will potentially overcome the inadequacies of cloud computing while enabling even faster data processing and analysis to support ultra-low latency applications such as autonomous vehicles.

CMHK and ASTRI plan to conduct an autonomous vehicle trial over six to 12 months at Hong Kong Science Park on a 5G network and initiate research on related technologies.

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.

The operator, with a 23 per cent share of mobile subscriptions in Hong Kong, set up its 5G Innovation Centre in Kwai Chung in March 2018 and plans to relocate the open lab to Hong Kong Science Park in the current calendar quarter.