Developed by Unissoft and supported by a 5G MEC system architecture designed by SmarTone, the deployment scenario combines SmarTone's 5G network with the Ericsson Enterprise Edge Link, becoming the first project in Hong Kong to adopt it in a commercial capacity and the first batch of projects in Asia.
“"We are delighted to be supported by Cyberport, SmarTone and Ericsson, and to have them provide an application scenario as well as comprehensive technological assistance for our 5G solution,” said Aldous Ng, founder of Unissoft, which is an alumna of the Cyberport Incubation Programme.
He added: “We will continue in our development of 5G-enabled AI Internet of Thing (A-IoT) applications in areas such as smart campus management, smart factory and esports, with the hopes of bringing 5G's benefits to a wider audience. We also look forward to using our nEdge edge computing technology to cooperate with other Cyberport startups interest in developing 5G applications. The company is also endorsed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and will be bringing nEdge to technology parks in the Great Bay Area."
This represents the first instance of a local startup applying an in-house developed technology to enhancing 5G's commercial value. With lower latency and a more secure network design, 5G can be broadly applied in commercial and industrial communications, and even unmanned driving. MEC's advantage lies in its ability to enable application ownership within enterprises, while Unissoft's technology significantly reduces cost to highlight the advantages of 5G.
Moreover, edge computing allows data to be processed at nearby stations or dedicated computing platforms, negating the need for transmitting data to distant servers. This not only reduces data processing time, but also enhances data security through bypassing data processing through public cloud servers.
First use case: pet monitoring system
The first use case for the new MEC deployment scenario will be the Pet Monitoring System at Arcade@Cyberport. The 5G-enabled system will be installed and tested at Arcarde@Cyberport over the next two month and targeted to be operational by October this year.
The pet monitoring system features MEC device that includes an nEdge setup developed by Unissoft, integrated with the latest enterprise 5G Ericsson Enterprise Edge Link. Through high-definition cameras connected with the SmarTone 5G network, multiple real-time video stream will be transmitted via the SmarTone-developed 5G MEC architecture, through mobile edge gateways within the mall, to Unissoft's in-house nEdge multi-cloud design for artificial intelligence (AI) analysis.
This will give staff the Arcace@Cyberport real-time information, such as the pet count within the mall and whether pets have entered any unauthorised areas, giving pets and their owners a better user experience while enabling staff to respond more quickly to emergencies and improve operational efficiency.
The research and development process of this project was supported by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the project was funded by the "Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G" of the Office of the Communications Authority.
“We are delighted to work with Unissoft, SmarTone and Ericsson to drive 5G edge computing applications, bringing 5G MEC and the Pet Monitoring System to the Cyberport campus,” said Howard Cheng, COO of Cyberport. “We will also continue to use existing campus facilities and seize the opportunity of Cyberport expansion project to provide startups with testing and application opportunities while uplifting the digital technology experience of campus users
An eye on cutting-edge 5G applications
Stephen Chau, chief technology officer at SmarTone noted that with the rapid development of 5G, mobile operators need to make full use 5G characteristics - ultra-high speed, low latency and mass connectivity, and integrate them with other advanced technologies to create more innovative solutions that will help enterprises solve their pain points and improve operational efficiency.
“This collaboration with Cyberport and Unissoft is a great example of this, and we look forward to working to more startups across different industries to co-create a 5G ecosystem,” Chau said.
Åsa Tamsons, senior vice president and head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses at Ericsson echoed the same sentiment.
"This is one of the first Ericsson Enterprise Edge Link collaborations in Asia to support commercial use, and this installation provides technology enterprises the capacity to adopt 5G edge computing more easily and at a lower cost. Combined with Unissoft's smart solution and SmarTone's network coverage, we believe that this innovative solution can spotlight Hong Kong's leading position in innovative technologies,” Tamsons said.