Malaysia’s Prime Minister stated that Malaysia is on track to commercially roll out 5G technology in the third quarter of 2020.
Launching the 5G Malaysia Demonstration Projects in Malaysia on 19 January 2020, the PM stated that it marks a significant beginning in the nation’s journey towards strengthening its economy to achieve sustainable growth and share the country’s prosperity with the people.
In addition, this will ensure that the nation achieves its target of providing every citizen in this nation a decent standard of living by 2030.
It was noted that, economically, 5G can serve as the infrastructure for innovative growth.
The convergence of 5G and different industrial sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, smart transportation and tourism, presents new opportunities for industries, society and individuals to advance their digital ambitions and deliver new and better services.
The Prime Minister underscored that technology will continue to change the way people do things.
He noted that Malaysia risks being left behind if it does not adapt and change as well. On the other hand, it offers new, exciting challenges as well as immeasurable opportunities if we are capable of embracing them.
The Prime Minister noted that the interconnectedness of the economy may not make Malaysia immune to global economic headwinds.
However, it is through continuing to strive towards outperforming and pushing boundaries every day, that will allow it to stride forward confidently.
There is also a need to equip the nation’s workforce with skills of the future and continue to collaborate in the new spirit of “coopetition” to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The willingness of organisations to open doors to others and share best practices will expedite the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and unlock the benefits that manufacturers can create, the PM said.
This spirit of collaboration also cuts beyond the confines of the private sector, alluding to the concept of Malaysia Incorporated introduced during his first tenure as the prime minister.
The initiative integrated the private and public sectors under one common objective of developing Malaysia.
The PM believes the concept still applies to this day, and it is more important than ever before for the sectors to work together to achieve the country’s big and ambitious goals.
Due to such collaboration, 100 5G use cases had been identified through the 5G demonstration projects, of which 72 use cases are being undertaken in 56 live 5G sites across Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu and Penang.
5G – a key economic enabler
According to an earlier OpenGov Asia article, the Final Report on the Allocation of Spectrum Bands for Mobile Broadband Service in Malaysia was recently released.
It generated excitement and anxiety across the country’s telco landscape. There is currently an intense focus on the MCMC’s preference for a single company to run the infrastructure as part of Malaysia’s 5G network.
The aim is to avoid redundant backbone networks which do not provide operators with meaningful market advantages but rather result in costly and duplicated infra that is purchased from foreign network operators. This, in turn, results in the outflow of funds.
The increasing the urgency for Malaysia to get its 5G rollout right and not repeat the mistakes of 4G is a strong linking factor between future economic development and digital infrastructure.
5G is seen as a key national infrastructure play that Malaysia must get right in order to drive its economic growth in a digital economy.
Concurrently, the need to share infra is also seen to be more practical and urgent in 5G, whose high speed and low latency networks require all telco towers to be fiberised, currently, only about 40% are, and with many more small cell sites with the line of sight.
However, there are still several details to be ironed out. Malaysians can hope that the outcome of the national 5G game plan, will be one designed to benefit consumers, businesses, entrepreneurs looking to build disruptive services and products around 5G technologies and, ultimately, the nation.