MALAYSIA is on track to commercially roll out 5G technology in the third quarter of 2020, Prime  Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

Dr Mahathir, who launched the 5G Malaysia Demonstration Projects in Langkawi tonight, said it is the  significant beginning in the nation’s journey towards strengthening its economy to achieve sustainable growth and the shared prosperity vision.

“(This will also) ensure that we achieve our target of providing every single citizen in this nation a decent standard of living by 2030,” Dr Mahathir said.

He noted that preparations to deploy 5G have progressed smoothly since he launched the 5G Malaysia Showcase in April 2019.

“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 said.

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,” Dr Mahathir said.

He also spoke of the need to equip the nation’s workforce with skills of the future and to 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,” Dr Mahathir said.

He said this spirit of collaboration cuts across the borders of the private sector, alluding to the concept of Malaysia Inc introduced during his first tenure as the prime minister.

The initiative integrated the private and public sectors under the 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,” Dr Mahathir said.

Dr Mahathir commended the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for their efforts in laying the building blocks for the deployment 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.

His wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak were present. – Bernama

Malaysia a step closer to 5G goal, says Gobind

THE launch of the 5G Demonstration Projects in Langkawi tonight is an important milestone as Malaysia moves a step closer towards implementing 5G in the near future, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

He said 72 use cases are currently being demonstrated across 56 5G live sites in six states, with Langkawi alone accounting for 35 use cases at 25 live sites.

The use cases throughout the country cover nine different verticals namely agriculture; digital healthcare; education; entertainment/media; manufacturing and processing; oil and gas; smart city; smart transport; and tourism.

“What we see now in Langkawi is a leap forward in 5G technology development where we showcase real-time use cases which are already up and running, and we will work towards further research and development in these areas,” he said.

This transformation of Langkawi into a sustainable, smart and secure island will benefit not only the local community, but also the local authorities in planning future development projects, said Gobind.

He said use cases such as smart agriculture and urban precision farming are relevant to Langkawi and the country, as it supports the country’s aspiration in maximising output and increasing the country’s food supply.

“Digital healthcare use cases currently on trial in Langkawi include real-time medical data transfer and connected ambulance, as well as remote consultation at Sultanah Maliha Hospital,” he said.

The use case for the smart city vertical, he said, centres on digital boundary control to better monitor the safety and security of ports.

“5G is a potential game-changer in the way we all live and work. We endeavour to build a 5G ecosystem by developing 5G use cases with a view to stimulate and expedite the demand and implementation of 5G here in Malaysia.

“There is an urgent need to elevate the understanding of 5G that goes beyond the confines of broadband services and (that it) has the ability to change the face of many industries,” he said.

He said 5G technology would spur innovations and open up new opportunities in various sectors including agriculture, education, government administration, healthcare, public safety and transportation.

The minister said 24 Asia Pacific markets are expected to launch 5G by 2025 and the rollout of 5G will contribute almost US$900 billion (RM3.6 trillion) to the region’s economy over the next 15 years.

“Let 5G be another significant milestone to a greater Malaysia,” he said. – Bernama