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Google Cloud heading to India; Samsung, SK complete 4G/5G interconnection demo

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a biweekly roundup of the latest developments in technology in the Asia-Pacific region.


* Google Inc. announced Sept. 26 that its Google Cloud India region is set to go live before year-end and will offer services such as computing, big data, storage and networking.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and SK Telecom Co. Ltd. on Sept. 28 said that they successfully completed the world's first 4G and 5G network interconnection demonstration, which featured streaming of virtual reality, or VR, video content. The interconnection technology is critical for early stage 5G commercialization, as it is expected to allow users to access both 4G and 5G networks before the full nationwide deployment of 5G networks.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. have partnered to deploy pre-5G Massive MIMO in Bangalore, The Economic Times (India) reported Sept. 26, citing Jay Chen, CEO of Huawei India. Massive MIMO solution can potentially increase spectrum efficiency by five to seven times, enhancing intensive coverage and user experience.

* Chinese search engine Baidu Inc. launched a program using big data and artificial intelligence, or AI, to identify suspicious online information, which could then be vetted by more than 600 institutions in China, Xinhua News reported Sept. 28.

* The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that China is now in the second phase of 5G development, which focuses on testing, Tencent News reported Sept. 29. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project participated by various telecommunications associations will lay out the first 5G standard in June 2018, which will be aligned with international standards and commercialization in the third phase.


* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s cloud computing company partnered with a Malaysia-based IT company, Fusionex, to provide its cloud solutions in Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Fusionex announced Sept. 26. Through the partnership, Fusionex's offerings will be accessible from Alibaba Cloud.

* Huawei Technologies on Sept. 20 launched its CloudFabric Solution which is expected to allow enterprises to simplify the process of establishing cloud data center networks.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. signed a strategic agreement with the local government in Guangzhou, Xinhua News Agency reported Sept. 18. Tencent will help to turn Guangzhou into a smart city, by building a cloud platform for government affairs and introducing WeChat payments to the local medicare system, among others.

* The Ministry of Science and ICT announced Sept. 18 that LG CNS Co. Ltd. will officially adopt the open cloud platform titled PaaS-TA, developed by the government's R&D support through five local software developers. The Ministry plans to expand the cooperation with LG CNS to strengthen the competitiveness of the South Korean cloud platform and create an ecosystem for cloud development.


* BSNL inked a memorandum of understanding with ZTE Corp. to collaborate on 5G research and commercialization in India, The Economic Times (India) reported Sept. 28.

* Toyota Motor Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and parts maker Denso Corp. plan to establish joint venture EV C.A. Spirit in Nagoya, Japan, to promote the development of electric vehicles, according to a Sept. 28 statement.

* KT Corp. laid out a plan to hit annual revenue of 500 billion South Korean won in its connected car business by 2022, Maeil Business Newspaper reported Sept. 28. The telco plans to become a vehicle software provider that supplies AI-powered platforms using its own technology dubbed GiGA Genie. The company currently has 13 partners from six countries, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Mercedes-Benz.

* ZTE Corp. began pre-5G trials with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Reliance Jio, ZTE India CEO Peng Aiguang told The Economic Times (India) on Sept. 27.

* Alibaba Group debuted AliOS, a new internet of things, or IoT, operating system for vehicles and IoT terminals, Yicai Global reported Sept. 27.

* Kakao Corp. announced Sept. 27 that it partnered with Incheon International Airport Corp. to build a smart transportation service. Under the deal, Kakao will combine the airport's transportation data with its Kakao Mobility service to provide information about parking availability and traffic congestion at the airport.

* Ericsson AB and Intel Corp. completed the first 5G 3.5GHz multi-vendor end-to-end interoperability test in Beijing, as announced Sept. 26.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. said Sept. 26 that it will nurture promising startups through the TEAC (Telco Infra Project Ecosystem Acceleration Center) Seoul program. The company has selected Optella and Kulcloud from South Korea and Transcelestial from Singapore to support the development of 5G-related technologies including those related to high volume data transmission and ultra-low latency.

* SK Telecom said Sept. 22 that it will co-develop 5G network infrastructure with the Korea Transportation Safety Authority in the country's self-driving test site dubbed K-City.

* KT Corp. was granted a temporary license to test its self-driving buses for the first time in South Korea, Chosun Biz reported Sept. 23.

* SK Telecom announced Sept. 21 that it completed the pilot drive of 26km today. SK Telecom is the first telco in the country that was granted a temporary license to test self-driving cars on the road.

* NTT Communications Corp. announced Sept. 20 that it teamed up with Tokyo-based Preferred Networks and NTT PC Communications to launch a private supercomputer designed to facilitate research and development of deep learning, including autonomous driving and cancer diagnosis. NTT Communications is the network management arm of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

* France-based IoT company Kerlink SA on Sept. 19 said that it has expanded into India. Its Chennai-based subsidiary, Kerlink IoT Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., will work with India's Tata Communications Ltd. to roll out what it claims to be the world's largest LoRaWAN IoT network. The network is expected to cover 400 million people in almost 2,000 towns and cities across the country.

* Electronics maker Pioneer Corp. said Sept. 19 that it formed a partnership with Amsterdam-based mapping data provider HERE Technologies to support innovations in the areas of in-vehicle infotainment and autonomous driving, as well as other services using location intelligence.

* Samsung Electronics on Sept. 19 introduced an Internet of Things-based B2B solution titled b.IoT at the Korea Energy Show 2017. The smart building management solution integrates network, security, lighting, air-conditioning and heating to maximize energy efficiency.

* NEC Corp. will step up its collaboration with General Electric Co. on IoT, The Nikkei reported Sept. 17. The companies are looking to offer facial recognition technology.

* Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek Inc. is expected to complete the development of its 5G prototype chip by year-end, DIGITIMES reported Sept. 18, citing industry sources. The company is preparing to trial its 5G technology in 2018.


* Fuji Television Network Inc.'s parent company Fuji Media Holdings Inc., together with Fuji Startup Ventures Inc. and transcosmos inc., established artificial intelligence company Machine Learning Solutions, according to a Sept. 27 press release. The companies seek to promote AI in areas such as advertisement and entertainment.

* Pandora TV Co. Ltd. launched a VR-dedicated app titled KMPlayer VR, ZDNet Korea reported Sept. 27. The new app supports various VR formats and 6 languages. The app will be launched in South Korea markets and beyond.

* Taiwanese consumer electronics maker HTC Corp. plans to reopen an office in South Korea by early 2018 to launch its VR headset HTC VIVE, ET News reported Sept. 27.

* Cheetah Mobile Inc. on Sept. 26 said that it introduced ARCam, an app that allows users to create 3D moments by inserting augmented reality features into photos and videos.

* Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd. enlisted Microsoft Corp. to deploy artificial intelligence and machine-learning solutions to improve its sales, The Economic Times (India) reported Sept. 26.

* Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. have launched a joint research project to promote the use of partner robots that can coexist with humans, according to a Sept. 25 statement. The program uses AI technology 'Corevo' from the NTT Group and the Human Support Robot which is currently being developed by Toyota.

* NTT Communications Corp. will launch its artificial intelligence communication engine COTOHA in Thailand, The Nikkei reported Sept. 23.

* Kakao Corp. on Sept. 21 said that it signed a partnership with Lotte Group's IT business unit Lotte Data Communication Co. to explore new businesses including mobile kiosks, voice order and AI platform services.

* Google's AI-powered voice assistant Google Assistant has started its Korean service through LG Electronics Inc.'s latest smartphone V30, IT Chosun reported Sept. 21. Google Korea plans to expand its Korean edition to smartphones with Android 6.0 or higher.

* Kakao Corp. on Sept. 20 unveiled its Kakao AI Eco-system, which includes an integrated AI platform titled Kakao I, an AI development platform called Kakao I Open Builder, and Kakao's own AI certification brand Kakao I Inside. The company plans to expand its AI platform and share core technologies with its partners. On the same day, the company launched a beta service for its AI-powered machine translation service between English and Korean.


* Apple Inc. is looking to purchase advanced LCDs from Japan Display Inc. for some iPhones in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 28. Japan Display reportedly said it is working on a new version of the advanced displays, which would be similar to the organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, next-generation display technology that allows companies to build curved screens.

* Idemitsu Kosan Co.Ltd. and Toray Industries Inc. will codevelop technologies to improve the efficiency and durability of OLED panels, capitalizing on increased demand for OLED screens by developing more efficient, durable raw materials.