3 Hong Kong selects first NB-IoT apps from its incubation program

hong kong IoT
Image credit: Prasit Rodphan / Shutterstock.com

3 Hong Kong, the mobile arm of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong, says it has selected more than ten NB-IoT solutions created by the 3Innocity incubation program for general release.

3 HK completed construction field tests of its NB-IoT network last quarter, and extended it throughout Hong Kong at the end of last year. When the network was activated, 3 HK launched its 3Innocity program to bring together innovative scientific research companies and start-ups to promote development of NB-IoT technology. Selection criteria include applicability, publicity, complexity, replicability and market outreach.

3 HK says it initially selected several projects with the potential to be applied to daily life and business use, and helped the companies with network, technology and promotional support.

Among the projects:

3 HK NB-IoT

3 HK also said it is collaborating with Avnet to develop 3Innocity projects. Avnet provides development tools, prototype testing and software customization to help speed up design and optimize performance before the manufacturing stage and delivery to market. Avnet also aims to accelerate IoT development by connecting IoT edges to cellcos and cloud providers around the world, providing end-to-end support for IoT initiatives and innovations embarked by companies.

3 HK’s NB-IoT launch comes as Hong Kong’s cellcos race to capitalize on the emerging IoT space.

Last year, SmarTone partnered with Cisco Jasper to launch IoT services, and has also been rolling out NB-IoT technology. SmarTone also runs its own Innovation Hub [PDF], which facilitates cross-industry collaboration on various apps for next-gen technologies, most of which currently center around IoT-based smart property/smart city apps including interconnected screwdrivers, site worker tracking, smart parking, connected transport and smart mirrors, as well as retail apps that can track shoppers with facial recognition technology.

Earlier this week, incumbent HKT showcased its IoT ecosystem, which supports various connectivity options and ropes in partners to develop IoT apps.

There are also at least two low power wireless access (LPWA) players running in Hong Kong’s IoT race. Sigfox operator Thinxtra officially launched its Hong Kong network in November and plans to deploy 100 base stations across the city by March 2018. In June 2017, local firm Pixel Networks announced it was building a public LoRa network for IoT services in partnership with Actility.

Both use unlicensed spectrum, but as of December, they require a wireless IoT license from the Communications Authority.

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