May 22, 2017
Photo - A 5G technology demo guided tour in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia's recent first ever 5G trial is also the first 5G trial conducted on the 28GHz band in Southeast Asia.
The trial, conducted by Malaysian mobile telecoms Celcom Axiata (Celcom) in partnership with communications technologies provider Ericsson, may also mark a new milestone for Digital Malaysia.
Essentially, the government's Digital Malaysia vision calls for the creation of a developed digital economy by the year 2020. [For more on Digital Malaysia, see the exclusive interviews - Deep Dive into Malaysia's Digital Economy with MDEC CEO Dato' Yasmin Mahmood - Part 1 and Part 2.]
This new milestone is a result of the 5G memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Celcom and Ericsson in Barcelona in February 2017.
Witnessed by YB Dato' Jailani Johari (pic below), deputy minister of Communications and Multimedia, the trial at Menara Celcom in Kuala Lumpur featured 5G Radio Prototypes, achieving a peak throughput up to 18Gbps (Gigabits per second) and latency as low as 3ms (milliseconds).
Photo - Yang Berhormat Dato' Jailani Johari, Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia delivering his keynote
The trial also included demonstrations of 5G use cases such as robotic control, connected environment, virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT) applications and 4K video streaming over 5G - from video capture at the server end to playback on the 5G prototype device.
5G will feed new opportunities in line with Digital Malaysia, said the partners. One of these is a significant opportunity for telecom operators who meet industry digitalisation, with an estimated global revenue potential of US$582 billion by 2026.
In addition, the manufacturing and energy sectors represent the biggest opportunity for revenues created or enhanced by 5G. [For more comprehensive insights into ICT-related business opportunities in Malaysia, see leadership insights at - What's really in store for Malaysia's IT industry in 2017?]
Comments from Michael Kuehner, chief executive officer of Celcom Axiata included: "5G is very important as it will support the development and meet the communication needs of consumers and digitisation of various industries. It is critical that we explore this new generation technology and its capabilities with global partners like Ericsson."
Kuehner said Celcom's recently announced "journey to 5G" will involve the deployment of key technologies such as 4x4 multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) and 256 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) to provide users with data speeds up to 400Mbps (megabits per second). In the near future, Celcom will also deploy IoT to enable digital and connected living.
Todd Ashton, who is head of Ericsson Malaysia & Sri Lanka, who towards the end of 2015 told Computerworld Malaysia that rising data needed 5G, said: "This collaboration with Celcom is a further demonstration of our support for Malaysia on its journey towards 5G, following on from the success of the Innovation Centre for 5G that we set up last year with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia"