The Minister of Communications and Multimedia reiterated its commitment to 5-G implementation, with connectivity among the top government priorities by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.
The execution of the plan will require comprehensive preparation and priorities, as outlined in the Digital Network Plan (Jendela), said the minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the implementation of the 5G network included connectivity availability, readiness for the network, regulatory and industry planning.
"In terms of connectivity, it is useless if we have 5G in some areas when even 4G or others are not available in the rural and interior areas ... there ought to be the availability of access to avoid the digital divide.
"On industry accessibility, we expect 70 percent of 5G deployment will be for the use of industries while the remaining 30 percent will be among the general public," he said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.
In answer to Natrah Ismail (PH-Sekijang), he said that the 5G network expansion plan places the country at zero internet access, allows people to be left out, and cannot enjoy durable, extensive, and quality digital connectivity.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin said that the 5G demonstration project demonstrated success in the petrol and gas industry as robots were used to replace engineers, in particular on offshore platforms, it could contribute to solving two problems in this sector in terms of safety of staff and increased productivity.
He said that 5G technology was also of benefit to tourists from across the country by providing tourist destinations and attractions with a 360-degree view of tourist destinations, live streamings of the video to VR lenses, or 360-degree LCD panels. The technology is now being used in virtual reality technology.
“Based on the positive feedback, we have decided to extend the implementation period of the 5G demonstration project to Dec 31, 2020.
"The extension coincides with the introduction of Jendela as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin last August," he said in response to Natrah's original question on the results of the 5G demonstration project and the ministry's readiness to expand 5G network nationwide.
He said Jendenela will be introduced in national stages in order to speed up coverage and connectivity experience in 4G mobile broadband coverage by 96.9% in populated areas and increase mobile broadband speed up to 35Mbps by 2022, with the goal of accelerating the coverage and quality of communications services.
In August, Jendela was told by Muhyiddin of the efforts to improve the country's digital infrastructure in order to address the growing needs of the COVID19 pandemic, which would provide better quality fixed and mobile broadband coverage.
Jendela will lay the foundation and prepare the country for the transition to 5G technology, as part of its goal to enhance the country's technological communications under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025).
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