CITIC Telecom CPC and ASTRI Announce Cooperation to Develop Next Generation AR-powered Operations and Maintenance Technology
HONG KONG, 3 June 2019 – CITIC Telecom International CPC Limited (CITIC Telecom CPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited (SEHK: 1883) and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) today announced plans to join forces on research and development for next-generation operations and maintenance technologies using Augmented Reality (AR) glasses. At the same time, CITIC Telecom CPC unveiled three major R&D initiatives to accelerate business expansion and enhance the customer experience by using AI, in line with the company’s corporate mission – “Innovation Never Stops”.
For decades, CITIC Telecom CPC has built a comprehensive portfolio of innovative ICT services. Today, the company operates globally to deliver a ‘Global-Local’ value proposition, giving customers access to its carrier-class global infrastructure and world-class expertise. An important part of this ‘Global-Local’ value proposition is CITIC Telecom CPC’s local presence – offering professional services and support conversant with local language and culture.
Established by the HKSAR Government in 2000, ASTRI’s mission is to carry out applied research to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s technology-based industries. ASTRI’s R&D endeavours focus on Smart City, Financial Technologies, Intelligent Manufacturing, Health Technologies, and Application Specific Integrated Circuits.
With a shared vision to spur innovation and enhance customer experience, the collaboration with ASTRI not only creates new opportunities for CITIC Telecom CPC, but also benefits a wide spectrum of vertical industries.
“We are excited to announce this strategic partnership with ASTRI to develop next-generation operations and maintenance technologies using AR glasses,” said Mr. Stephen Ho, CEO of CITIC Telecom CPC. “Bringing together the strong technical capabilities and innovative strengths of the two groups, CITIC Telecom CPC hopes the resulting innovation will disrupt the game rules of operations and maintenance, enhance productivity and create value for our customers for years to come.”
“ASTRI supports Hong Kong’s industries and the community with advanced, innovative solutions. With technologies like Augmented Reality, Machine Vision, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, we enable the industries to deliver a better customer experience and pursue innovation-led growth,” said Mr. Hugh Chow, CEO of ASTRI. “This cooperation with CITIC Telecom CPC represents our firm commitment to a stronger, smarter Hong Kong powered by technology,” he added.
Based on the agreement, ASTRI will contribute their world-class software development capabilities while CITIC Telecom CPC will leverage its deep knowledge and experience gained from serving various industries, to provide an array of complex scenarios based on real-life customer requirements, on-site conditions and technical considerations.
Previously, field engineers, like those from CITIC Telecom CPC, relied on several computing devices like smartphones and laptops for installation, maintenance and troubleshooting. This typically consumed significant time and efforts to simultaneously manage and use multiple devices. By introducing AR glasses in their fieldwork, real-time intelligence, troubleshooting log, graphics and encrypted data from back-end systems can be streamed and made accessible onsite to engineers anytime, anywhere.
In the case of complex installations or troubleshooting operations, back-end engineers in other offices or even other regions can view the streamed real-time images transmitted from the AR glasses used by onsite field engineers through the AR operation console. This instant consultation capability significantly improves operational speed and quality. Its powerful video conferencing feature will provide engineers with immediate maintenance support and foster off-site collaboration between global operations and maintenance teams.
In addition to enhancing customer experience, this collaboration is expected to improve the overall quality of operations and maintenance, and boost productivity by 40 to 50%. When mature, the solution is expected to be launched to different vertical industries such as architecture and construction, aiming to boost their field work efficiency and effectiveness, as well as making more innovative uses of the solution.
Three New AI R&D Initiatives to Bring In More Customer Benefits
In addition to the partnership with ASTRI, CITIC Telecom CPC also announced three major new AI-enabled R&D initiatives to accelerate customers’ digital transformation through Recommender System, AI-powered Predictive Maintenance, and an Augmented Operation Initiative designed to enhance operational efficiency.
Recommender System: To identify new growth paths for customers, CITIC Telecom CPC is developing a Recommender System, a new AI-enabled capability to offer customers consultative recommendations on ICT investment and digital transformation. Through machine learning, research findings of emerging trends and information from different industries are gathered and mapped against industry challenges, maturity cycle, technical requirements, and compliance considerations of the company’s vast global customer base for analysis. The AI recommender will provide customers with guidance, helping them formulate a future-proof blueprint for digital transformation and business expansion, ensuring they will enjoy the best service experience.
Predictive Maintenance: Fault detection in the early stages of an issue is critical to reduce costly unscheduled downtime, maintenance costs and sustain customer confidence. With CITIC Telecom CPC’s new predictive maintenance initiative, data collected from customers’ IoT devices and servers, from applications to infrastructure levels, can be carefully monitored and analysed 24×7 based on machine learning for the use status and abnormalities. This allows prompt alert and immediate corrective measures or repair to be applied to mitigate potential issues like depleted resources or abnormal operating conditions before they emerge to ensure business continuity.
Augmented Operation Initiative: CITIC Telecom CPC is also developing a machine learning strategy to optimise operating efficiency for their customer services. The initiative aims to connect front-line customer services staff into the digital fabric of the company and delivers augmented instructions which give the staff insights to take appropriate actions. It results in achieving a high level of productivity and quality, while from a customer experience perspective, they can enjoy promptly and favourable responses.
“Through the partnership project with ASTRI as well as other new R&D initiatives, we endeavour to bring CITIC Telecom CPC to new heights – delivering a new level of benefits for our customers and society. We believe that technologies can lead to enhancements in various aspects, and smart use of technologies can create a better future,” concluded Mr. Daniel Kwong, Chief Information and Innovation Officer of CITIC Telecom CPC.