5G To Boost Malaysian Economy

Image credit: iStockphoto/jamesteohart

A leading Malaysian academic says deploying the country’s 5G network could create almost 150,000 new jobs and deliver benefits to end-user consumers and both established and startup businesses.

Professor Ir. Dr. Hafizal Mohamad, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, said Malaysia could see more new jobs with the advancement of the network, coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) augmented reality (AR) applications. He cited the education, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors as particular focus areas.

“These new AI and AR applications are not possible with the current network, unlike the 5G network. Therefore, we should be able to see quite a number of startups blooming soon to provide new services for 5G,” he told the Bernama news agency recently.

500 5G locations have been completed under Phase 1A as of the end of 2021, while phase 1B would see another rollout of 3,518 5G sites by the end of 2022.

Digital Nasional Bhd. (DNB), the government-owned organization created for the 5G rollout is committed to an accelerated schedule to roll out 5G coverage to 80% of the population by 2024.

Hafizal said the new generation network enables small and medium enterprises to have secure, stable, and reliable connectivity to promote their product with creativity.

“If you look back to the 3G era, if companies wanted to promote their services or products, they’re able to circulate the information using videos and audios to describe (them), but with 5G, we might see more advance methods being used, including high-definition videos,” he said.

“With 5G, we can also see high-speed data and ultra-low latency application emerging, particularly in industrial usage as it is important in the era of the industrial revolution and some other applications of vertical that require very low latency.”

The 3G network is being retired, while the 4G network is being strengthened as part of the JENDELA initiative that aims to upgrade Malaysia’s digital communications infrastructure in preparation for the 5G rollout.

Hafizal said the combined use of 5G and AI is also important in smart farming to analyze data on soil acidity, nutrient levels, and temperature remotely through sensors.    

“Additionally, one of the common deployments of 5G is the smart city. For instance, Langkawi has demonstrated transmission and monitoring for enforcement purposes using 5G through the setting up of traffic cameras in strategic locations to recognize and analyze human behavior,” he said.

“We can also see use cases in the oil and gas industry such as Petronas’ deployment of autonomous robots to conduct inspections, 4K video streaming, and some other sensors for their operations.”

Image credit: iStockphoto/jamesteohart