As the full adoption of 5G is potentially years away, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) says it’s essential that the current 4G networks are fully enhanced and optimised to address congestion.
It says our 4G networks suffer from low throughput of 9Mbps (megabits per second) or 36% below average at certain periods due to congestion or bottlenecks between network elements like the radio interface and core network.
MCMC chief digital officer Gerard K M Lim says in a statement that this is due to the networks being only partially fiberised – for instance, only 40% of the Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) are fully fiberised.
He says the average 4G download speed in Malaysia now stands at 21.1Mbps.
If the core network upgrade work is overlooked the same throughput issue currently plaguing the country will remain when 5G rolls around, with a potential bottleneck between the BTS and core network, he adds.
“5G technology promises 1Gbps (gigabit per second) for each user and if the core network upgrade work is overlooked, the same throughput issue currently plaguing the country will remain,” he says
“Thus, telecommunication providers must plan to ensure current 4G access is optimised and at the same time prepare for the upcoming 5G requirements.”
Gerard says a reliable end-to-end network infrastructure is vital to unlock the promise of increased speed, unparalleled low latency and high throughput capacity promised by 5G technology.
“Ultimately, the goal is to ensure positive customer experience when it comes to connectivity without any congestion issues. This is also in tandem with the government’s National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) to provide the rakyat with robust, pervasive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity,” he says.
In November 2018, the MCMC established a 5G Taskforce to explore practical uses for 5G and develop policies, regulations and spectrum planning of 5G.
It says 5G has the potential to grow the economy by delivering the next-generation of digital services across key industries such as automotive, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing and education.
Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and massive machine communications are some of the components that are expected to ride on the future deployment of 5G.