LANGKAWI (Bernama): Malaysia is on track to commercially roll out 5G technology in the third quarter of 2020, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Launching the 5G Malaysia demonstration projects here on Sunday (Jan 19) night, the Prime Minister said this marks a significant beginning in the nation's journey towards strengthening its economy to achieve sustainable growth and share the country's prosperity with the people.
"(This will also) ensure that we achieve our target of providing every single citizen in this nation a decent standard of living by 2030," said Dr Mahathir.
He noted that preparations to deploy 5G have been progressing well since he launched the "5G Malaysia showcase" in April 2019.
Dr Mahathir said that economically, 5G can serve as the infrastructure for innovative growth.
"The convergence of 5G and different industrial sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, smart transportation and tourism, presents new opportunities for industries, society and individuals to advance their digital ambitions, and deliver new and better services," he said.
The Prime Minister underscored that technology will continue to change the way people do things.
"And we risk being left behind if we do not change as well. On the other hand, it offers new, exciting challenges as well as immeasurable opportunities if we are capable of embracing them," he added.
Malaysia, he said, needs to be agile, for if it remains stagnant, it will not be able to compete in the global economy.
Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia, endowed with an abundance of resources and prospects, is poised to embark on a new era of growth.
"While this is within our grasp, we are at a tipping point from where we can either rise or falter," he told the audience at the Langkawi International Convention Centre.
The Prime Minister noted that the interconnectedness of the economy may not make Malaysia immune to global economic headwinds.
"(But) it is what we continue to strive towards individually and collectively every day to outperform and push boundaries, that will allow us to stay resilient and stride forward confidently," said Dr Mahathir.
He also spoke of the need to equip the nation's workforce with skills of the future and continue to collaborate in the new spirit of "coopetition" to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
"The willingness of organisations to open doors to others and share best practices will expedite the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and unlock the benefits that manufacturers can create," said Dr Mahathir.
He said this spirit of collaboration also cuts beyond the confines of the private sector, alluding to the concept of Malaysia Incorporated introduced during his first tenure as the prime minister.
The initiative integrated the private and public sectors under one common objective of developing Malaysia.
"Thus, I firmly believe the concept still applies to this day, and it is more important than ever before for the sectors to work together to achieve the country's big and ambitious goals," said Dr Mahathir.
Due to such collaboration, he said, 100 5G use cases had been identified through the 5G demonstration projects, of which 72 use cases are being undertaken in 56 live 5G sites across Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu and Penang.
Dr Mahathir also commended the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for their efforts in laying the necessary building blocks for the implementation of 5G in the country.
It is an important component for this country as the 5G technology - the next generation of mobile broadband - has the power to promote an array of new services, improve manufacturing efficiency and spur innovation, he said.
Present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak. - Bernama