GSMA confident of Malaysia’s 5G progress despite pandemic setback
21 Apr 2020
The GSM Association (GSMA), which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, is confident of Malaysia’s progress in the rolling out of the 5G technology despite a slight setback caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
During an online media briefing today, GSMA’s head of Asia-Pacific Julian Gorman said Malaysia’s push for 5G included bringing together the government, regulatory body and operators, which put the country in the best position to achieve that goal.
He said there would likely be some short-term delays or consequences of the virus on the process but the commitment shown by the parties involved would ensure a scalable and successful 5G launch.
“In Malaysia, the government and operators are investing to provide the path and scaling the ecosystem.
“The collaboration between the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and industry players is something for other nations to look at and consider,” he said.
Commenting on MCMC’s plan to award the spectrum for 5G to a single consortium, Gorman said while he looked forward to hearing the next steps happening in Malaysia, it would be challenging to get six operators to agree on a single consortium, on top of the operational risks.
According to GSMA’s Mobile Economy 2020 report, 5G is gaining pace as it is now live in 24 markets with numerous 5G smartphones have been launched, while 5G awareness and the intention to upgrade among consumers are both on the rise.
By 2025, 5G would account for 20% of global connections, with take-up particularly strong across developed Asia, North America and Europe.
To support this generational shift and further drive consumer engagement, operators are expected to invest around US$1.1 trillion (US$1=RM4.37) worldwide between 2020 and 2025 in mobile capital expenditure, out of which roughly 80% would be in 5G networks.
Meanwhile, Gorman said the Covid-19 pandemic had significantly highlighted the importance of digital connectivity, whereby from a government’s point of view, this would ease the process of educating the public on the emergency and managing its response.
“Malaysia enjoys a degree of comfort in this as the country have high penetration of smartphone and broadband,” he said, adding that being online and getting access to up-to-date information with regards to what is going on are crucial in responding to this crisis.