With the nationwide roll-out of 5G project demonstrations, Malaysia is all set and ready to be the first in Asia to deploy the fifth-generation network technology next month.
However, GSM Association (GSMA), a trade body that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, director-general Mats Granryd said Malaysia needs to learn from the countries which are already advanced with 5G rollout and are in the advanced phase of the entire process and take gradual steps on embarking 5G in Malaysia.
Mats Granryd said “It is not necessary to be the first (in implementing 5G). Maybe Malaysia can be number two or three as it gives more room to learn from others’ mistakes. But Malaysia should not take a wait-and-see approach either in pursuing 5G, although the technology is not widely available yet, as the adoption process could stretch out for years,”.
Granryd said that the with the help of 5G technologies a lot of things will seem to be simpler as there will be smooth business transaction and as the maintenance of 3G seems to be very expansive with the rapid advancement in the global technology. She said in particular “3G maintenance is more expensive than 5G because it is old technology. The higher the G, the more efficient it becomes due to more built-in intelligent solutions.
He added, “Eventually vendors would stop manufacturing 3G and possibly 2G technology products, so from that perspective, it will be more complicated to do maintenance for the network,”.
The 5G demonstration projects will be conducted at 32 -5G sites across six different states namely Penang, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu, Kedah and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
The network upgrade was important because of the increase in a number of devices demanding Internet access demanding a certain amount of bandwidth to function normally which the older technologies don’t suffice.
The network upgrade is essential to support the growing number of devices demanding Internet access, many of which require a certain amount of bandwidth to function normally, and 4G simply does not cut it anymore, he said.
Granryd said “5G networks can more easily and understand the type of data being requested, and are able to switch into lower power mode when not in use, and to switch to a higher power mode for things like high definition video streaming,”
Granryd also opinioned that Malaysia should promote collaborations between operators in order to develop apps.
Earlier this year, In order to get a good understanding of what is happening in Malaysia, GSMA has already engaged with the Malaysian entrepreneurs, ministries and industry players. The spectrum allocation is one of the major challenges as there’s an issue of not having enough spectrum and some discussion is going on the 700-megahertz (MHz) band, which a very important band. Granryd said “It is being deployed in many countries and Malaysia is still discussing deploying 700 MHz,”
The discussion on the spectrum allocation matters has been going on since last year, while MCMC’s Al-Ishsal said that the final report on the country’s 5G mobile technology implementation was expected to be completed by this month.
He added, “We are also looking at the issues and opportunities in Malaysia and how GSMA can help,”.
As 5G technology in Malaysia is expected to be launched in 2021, The interim report by the National 5G Special Task Force would be submitted to Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo for approval.
From October 2019 to March 2020, since the initiation, only eight companies have committed into an initial investment of RM116 million for the proposed 5G demonstration projects.
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