In preparation for the launch of a 5G mobile network in 2020, China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) has inaugurated an open lab for 5G technologies in Hong Kong and revealed plans to commence 5G trials in the second quarter of the year.
CMHK said the 5G Innovation Center Open Lab, located in Mita Center in Kwai Chung, aims to promote the development and commercialization of 5G in the city by providing a testbed for CMHK’s partners to explore and develop potential use cases for cloud, 5G and IoT.
CMHK will also collaborate with local universities to launch joint innovation projects that cover 5G technical research and courses.
“The Hong Kong Open Lab [will] demonstrate the 5G related achievements of the [China Mobile] group to international partners, and the support and promotion of IoT applications development and 5G technologies study for members of the 5G Innovation Center,” CMHK chairman Li said at the opening ceremony last Friday.
“These include provision of test network environment and technical support, promotion of joint innovation projects, and the set-up of pilot trial zones in smart shopping malls with our partners, allowing customers to experience innovative IoT applications.”
At the open lab, CMHK is showcasing various 5G equipment based on 3GPP 5G NR standard, including two 5G NR radio units that support 3.5-GHz and 26-GHz/28-GHz and a 5G customer premises equipment (CPE) box, developed by Huawei.
The company is also displaying applications for NB-IoT, such as smart parking solutions and smart bicycle locks.
The Chinese mobile giant plans to build a total of 12 open labs both in China and overseas - of which nine will be in China and three in Hong Kong, Sweden and San Francisco in the US.
According to Lee, China Mobile is currently working with 112 partners including 57 vertical industry partners on such focus areas as IoT, Internet of Vehicles (IoV), cloud robotics, and AR/VR.
In line with parent company’s target to launch commercial 5G network in 2020, Lee said CMHK is proactively planning the 5G network deployment and will “fully support OFCA [Office of Communications Authority] on its 5G spectrum release, and the promotion of Hong Kong's 5G mobile communication services and smart city development.”
He said the company has obtained a 5G trial permit from OFCA and will commence lab tests with partners on the assigned spectrum in the second quarter of the year using gear that complies with the 3GPP 5G NR standard.