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China Mobile eyes full 5G by 2019; Sony developing AI ride-hailing system

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

TOP STORIES

* China Mobile Ltd. wants to launch a full 5G service in China by the end of 2019, a year earlier than its planned 2020 date, TechRadar reported Feb. 12. The Chinese telco enlisted Viavi Solutions Inc. to help support the development of the slicing packet network technology that is key to the accelerated launch date.

* Sony Corp. is forming a joint venture with five taxi operators in Japan to build an AI-powered taxi dispatch system, The Nikkei reported Feb. 20.

* The opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea involved technology including drones, 5G, virtual reality and the internet of things, ZDNet Korea reported Feb. 11. Intel Corp.'s 1,218 drones presented a synchronized show to form the five Olympics rings. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. opened nine exhibition halls to demonstrate its VR technologies, while Hyundai Motor Co. showcased self-driving vehicles.

CLOUD

* Rakuten Inc. subsidiary Rakuten Communications Co. Ltd. and U.K. cloud communications provider Content Guru Ltd. partnered to launch a new cloud contact center platform called "connect storm" in Japan, according to a Feb. 20 news release.

* Oracle Corp.'s Japanese unit on Feb. 14 said it would open a cloud data center to meet the growing demand for cloud services in Japan.

* NEC Corp. is looking to invest ?20 billion to set up two data centers in Japan by April 2019, The Nikkei reported Feb. 13.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. signed a deal with game publisher iDreamSky Technology Ltd. to build an open cloud platform and offer system solutions to developers, Yicai Global reported Feb. 7.

5G AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS

* Panasonic Corp. said Feb. 14 that it entered a partnership agreement with Trend Micro Inc. to develop cybersecurity for autonomous and connected cars.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on Feb. 14 said it partnered with TELUS Corp. to launch an end-to-end user trial for 5G in Vancouver, Canada

* KT Corp. and Nokia Corp. successfully demonstrated the 5G pilot service in six locations in South Korea, E Daily reported Feb. 13.

* Beijing installed 1,020 free Wi-Fi spots in public amenities, with 5G networks available in specific areas by 2019 at the earliest, Xinhua News reported Feb. 11.

VIRTUAL REALITY AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. is set to unveil its new VR service oksusu Social VR at the Mobile World Congress 2018, ET News reported Feb. 19.

* NEC Corp. said Feb. 9 that it started collaborating with Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. on AI- and internet of things-based mobility business.

* SK Broadband will further advance its internet protocol TV and over-the-top services through machine learning and AI technology, Financial News reported Feb. 8.