Firms racing to be the first to provide 5G


PUTRAJAYA: With the government backing 5G in order for the country to get on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, many companies are racing to be the first to bring the benefits of the technology to the masses.

“The 5G technology will enable our industries to fully exploit the power of artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, virtual reality, and software engineering,” said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo at the launch of the inaugural 5G Malaysia Showcase.

“It will bring innovation which will substantially impact almost every sector, including education, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment and public safety.”

The four-day showcase at Kom-pleks Perbadanan Putrajaya features 11 local and international telcos, tech companies and higher learning institutions.

Digi showcased the potential of 5G in emergency services.

Digi chief executive officer Albern Murty said: “It enables the use of 4K video, collection and transferring of data in real-time to respective emergency services such as first responders, hospitals, and the fire department, saving valuable time.

“What is equally important is 5G’s capability to dedicate a portion of the network for mission critical services such as emergencies.”

The system uses a drone which will scout road and traffic conditions, and transmit the data to the a Command Centre Monitoring System, ambulance and hospital in real time.

Celcom Axiata Bhd unveiled its first autonomous car, a collaboration with eMoovit and Ericsson, which uses a combination of sensors, cameras, radar and artificial intelligence to travel without a human driver.

Celcom also showcased its 5G Hologram Call technology which projects people and objects in 3D.

In a demo, Maxis proved that its 5G network could exceed 5Gbps (gigabits per second).

Its chief technology officer Morten Bangsgaard said: “It’s been slightly over a month we started our live trials. What we are doing now is validating how it will perform in real life, under different conditions like what it happens when it rains. These are practical things that will enable us to learn how to build the network, understand expected capacities, cost involved, which are important to allow us to plan for our rollout.”

But he said the nationwide rollout could only be planned after it gets the spectrum allocation.

“The government has indicated that an announcement on spectrum allocation will be made later this year,” he said.

TM One chief executive officer Azizi A. Hadi said the most important element in the 5G race was how it is used to benefit people’s lives and consequently take Malaysia to the next level.

He showed how the Smart Safety Helmet developed by TM can be used to tell the location of the wearer as well as if the person is injured in the line of duty.

Nokia on the other hand demonstrated how 5G could be used for venues, allowing more devices to be connected at the same time, and events streamed in virtual reality for those who could not attend.

It also showed off a virtual reality table tennis game, and how 5G could be used for quality control in the manufacturing field.

ZTE had a demo of a racing game streamed from a remote location to a virtual reality headset using 5G, showing how the technology can be used to make gaming more accessible to those without a gaming machine.

Huawei offered a virtual reality 4K drone for attendees to try out. The drone would pan and tilt according to users’ head movements in “almost” real-time.

It also showcased the use of 5G in agriculture, aquaculture, healthcare alongside its RuralStar technology, which it says will be able to provide cellular coverage to rural and underdeveloped areas.

U Mobile showed tele-surgery, multi stream 4K videos and low latency gaming but cautioned that 5G requires supporting devices for it to take off.

Jasmine Lee, U Mobile chief marketing officer, said: “Even 4G did not really take off until there were devices, and content, so it is really going to be the same for 5G.”

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5G to move Malaysia forward

Mahathir Mohamad , 5G , technology