Malaysia to champion 5G in Southeast Asia

  • 40,000 new jobs to be created over next 5 years due to 5G implementation
  • 5GDP made possible with cooperation of state govts, local authority and service providers


MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak speaking on the economic impact of 5G, at the launch dinner of 5GDP in Langkawi

MALAYSIA is set to carve its name in the global arena with the implementation of 72 5G Demonstration Projects (5GDP) throughout the country led by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The progress in implementing the fifth generation mobile technology (5G) will also redefine the readiness of the Malaysian digital economy, particularly the industries and small and medium-sized businesses, to face the fourth industrial revolution.

Malaysia is laying the foundation, through 5GDP, to be at the frontier in deploying 5G in Southeast Asia (SEA)  In a recent study by the Malaysia Institute of Economic Research (MIER), commissioned by the MCMC, the implementation of 5G can contribute approximately US$3.13 billion (RM12.7 billion) to the national gross domestic product (GDP) as well as create about 40,000 new jobs in the next five years.

A comprehensive 5G ecosystem is in progress with various new approaches, which include network and infrastructure sharing between service providers, policy revisions, joint ventures and many more. 5G will connect not just people but things. Many innovative services will emerge from advanced virtual reality, autonomous vehicles to remote medical surgery. When done right, 5G will deliver ultra-reliable low-latency communication with improved energy efficiency and enhanced privacy and security.

The 5GDP in Langkawi are imperative as there are 35 use cases involving six verticals at 25 live 5G sites actively operating from October 2019 until March 2020, with a total investment of US$24.9 million (RM101 million). This constitutes half of the total 72 use cases demonstrated in six states that include Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur.

Among the use cases demonstrated in Langkawi include Smart Agriculture, Smart Airport, Smart City, Smart Traffic Light Solutions, Real Time Medical Data Transfer, 5G Live Video Surveillance, Remote Consultation and Virtual Tourism. In addition, there are three use cases at Langkawi Port namely Digital Boundary Control, Smart Tracking for Water Vessels and Geo-fencing & Smart Perimeters, which are also among the main attractions of 5GDP on the island.

The 5GDP would not have been possible without the cooperation of key parties such as the state governments, local authorities and service providers.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad visited two 5GDP live sites at the Langkawi Land and District Office, and Langkawi Police Headquarters demonstrating use cases such as 5G Command Centre, eKelas, smart agriculture solutions as well as, security and smart city solutions.

A day earlier, on Sunday, 19 Jan, Mahathir, who practiced medicine before he became a politician, visited Hospital Sultanah Maliha to view the progress of digital healthcare use cases namely real time medical data transfer and connected ambulance. This was followed by the launch of 5GDP at Langkawi International Convention Centre, to recognise a major milestone for the country to propel its digital economy agenda.

The past two days also witnessed the maiden 5G Malaysia International Conference on Jan 20 and 21, featuring renowned international and local speakers from the industry to further discuss the development and prospects of 5G implementation in Malaysia and around the world. Among the topics highlighted included experience sharing and 5G implementations across the world.

During the conference on Jan 20, MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak handed over the 5G Task Force Final Report to Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo. On hand was chairman of the 5G Task Force, Mohd Ali Hanafiah, his deputy Muniff Kamaruddin and advisor to the 5G Task Force, Professor Dr Tharek Abdul Rahman.

The Final Report underlines the prerequisites for the implementation of 5G such as infrastructure requirements, spectrum management solutions, and regulatory matters covering cooperation with State and local authorities, and addressing security, safety and health concerns.


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