CYBERJAYA, Jan 9 — Malaysia is poised to roll out the commercialisation of the fifth generation (5G) technology in the third quarter of this year, according to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak.

He said the deployment of the technology would not only redefine connectivity in the country but also bring positive impact to the economy and elevate Malaysia as one of the pioneers in the Asean region to implement 5G.

“5G lends itself to a different kind of implementations and applications beyond the smartphone for consumers. 5G is for industry, businesses. Of course, 5G is also for consumers, but 5G is also for fixed wireless access,” he told a media briefing on 5G updates here today.

Referring to the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research’s findings on the economic impact of 5G implementation in Malaysia, he shared that the deployment of 5G would contribute up to RM12.7 billion between 2021 and 2025 to the nation’s economy and potentially create more than 39,000 new jobs. 

Asked if 4G was still needed in the country, Al-Ishsal said it would remain relevant for the next five to 10 years and would not be replaced by 5G anytime in the near future.

He said MCMC received 100 use cases proposed by the government and industry, where 72 use cases would be rolled out in 56 live 5G sites in Kedah, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak and Penang under nine verticals, namely, agriculture, education, entertainment/media, digital healthcare, manufacturing and processing, oil and gas, smart city, smart transportation and tourism.

MCMC, along with other stakeholders and companies like Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd, Edotco Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Petroliam Nasional Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd, are currently running 5G demonstration projects in the six states involving an initial investment of RM143 million.

Al-Ishsal said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was scheduled to officiate the 5G Malaysia demonstration projects in Langkawi, Kedah, on Jan 19, involving 11 live demonstrations of use cases at Langkawi 5G Command Centre, Hospital Sultanah Maliha and the Langkawi International Airport.

“In conjunction with the event, MCMC will also organise the 5G Malaysia International Conference in Langkawi on Jan 20 to discuss the development and prospect of 5G implementation,” he said. — Bernama