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Boosting Malaysia’s regional competitiveness with 5G

Boosting Malaysia’s regional competitiveness with 5G

04 Jan 2023

Little more than 12 months since Malaysia’s 5G rollout began, it’s heartening that faster and more resilient mobile connectivity has been made available to over 40% of populated areas by the end of 2022. Furthermore, coverage is expected to reach 80% by 2024.

Malaysia did a bold move with commissioning a nation-wide 5G network. And it paid off. Malaysia will have achieved one of the fastest 5G rollouts in the world, which will enable all the benefits of a digital economy sooner.

The ongoing deployment is not only focused on rapid delivery, but also availability, affordability, performance, customer experience and security. Both low-band and mid-band spectrum have been made available and, together, they deliver a world-class user experience with the infrastructure to drive innovation throughout Malaysia. Crucially, this will include rural and suburban areas.

The country’s commitment to rollout 5G so efficiently, demonstrated by the optimal spectrum allocation, means the potential to realize the benefits of digital transformation before other emerging markets.

A major new study, commissioned by Ericsson and delivered by management consulting firm Analysys Mason, covers 15 such countries and forecasts that Malaysia could be among the biggest beneficiaries from 5G deployment. The potential for economic boost in the study was based on 5G use cases across four sectors – in particular, industry, logistics, rural and public services – while also spanning verticals such as energy and utilities, ports and healthcare. The study found that across these four sectors, which comprise 18.4% of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”), the potential boost to total GDP can go up to 0.38% per year.

In fact, according to the report, Malaysia will realize these incremental GDP benefits faster compared to other emerging markets. Based on the 5G infrastructure already being rolled out, the cumulative economic benefits through to 2035 from these four sectors alone are estimated at USD 10.1 billion.

In addition, an EY report in 2021, which looked at all economic sectors across Malaysia, indicated that in 2030, the adoption of 5G technologies will increase Malaysia’s GDP by 5% or RM122 billion. 5G is estimated to lead to the creation of approximately 750,000 jobs across the economy and will contribute to an increase in the proportion of high-skilled jobs.

The economic opportunities alone are compelling, yet 5G can also help address climate change, increase social inclusion and wellbeing, plus close the digital divide in areas where fixed infrastructure is poor. A strong 5G network can help reduce carbon emissions by supporting the digitalization of agriculture, freight and logistics, smart factories and construction.

In fact, 5G is a limitless platform for innovation, capable of driving exponential positive impact on society. New consumer applications like cloud gaming and enterprise services, including new use cases for the digitalization of industries, are already creating business opportunities across all sectors. The country’s entrepreneurs and enterprises can develop new applications on top of the network, to be launched both locally and globally, supporting the economy by creating new jobs and skills.

Malaysia’s plan to accelerate the deployment of 5G encourages efficient infrastructure sharing and will further improve power consumption and reduce carbon emissions. The rapid deployment of the DNB network means more opportunities for education, skills development, employment, and economic growth – with five major operators already able to offer 5G services to their customers only 14 months after work started.

With such significant progress over the past year, the country can make even more gains from programs and policies aimed at boosting the 5G ecosystem, including foreign direct investments to help drive the use of 5G by consumers and enterprises.

Ericsson is also nurturing a strong ecosystem that will spur the development of innovative new 5G use cases and services as this is an enabler for the digital transformation of Malaysia’s economy. To this end, in 2015, Ericsson’s partnership with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) established the Innovation Centre for 5G in Malaysia, to foster the development of 5G use cases. Today, our partnership has been expanded with DNB, to teach students about 5G and other technologies using the Ericsson Educate platform.

Another initiative designed to nurture the digital ecosystem in Malaysia involves us working with DNB and the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI). We aim to use the growing availability of 5G to accelerate the development of innovation clusters, providing comprehensive knowledge sharing and educational support for enterprises.

On the global technology stage, Ericsson and DNB recently achieved a world record distance for Gigabit speeds. Conducted over the 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) frequency, this test achieved a peak throughput of 1Gbps at a record distance of more than 11km. This achievement demonstrates the ability of mmWave, with the support of Ericsson’s extended-range software, to deliver cost-effective and high-quality internet connectivity in areas where wired alternatives aren’t economically feasible.

By connecting the last mile over the airwaves, rather than deploying expensive fiber, 5G can reach underserved communities in rural locations. Imagine the value this will bring to workers and students who can collaborate remotely and use online learning resources. The potential for banking and telehealth services, in addition to innovative solutions to Malaysia’s food security agenda, is also huge.

Ericsson and DNB have already achieved several impressive milestones during the 5G deployment, which is the world’s first commercial network to apply Dynamic Radio Resource Partitioning. This enables all six of Malaysia’s mobile operators to deliver customized 5G services with guaranteed performance, while also allowing them to differentiate their offerings.

We are equally proud that the technology used in the DNB network was recently recognized at the prestigious Glotel Awards, which celebrate innovation and excellence in advancing telecommunications.

Ericsson has been part of Malaysia’s telecommunications journey since 1965 and we look forward to accelerating Malaysia’s journey towards becoming a digital economy.

Source: The Edge Markets