5G: Govt will not compromise on health and safety aspects

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PUTRAJAYA (July 29): Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo has assured the Malaysian public that the government will not compromise on health and safety aspects in relation to the 5G roll-out.

"The new 5G technology will only be deployed after it is certified to have complied with  all the necessary safety standards," he said.

To this end, Gobind said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had issued a Mandatory Standard on Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Emissions from radio communications infrastructure, which is enforced on the industry.

"All industry players are required to conduct and report field measurements in order to ensure that all companies comply with the safety limits specified," he told  reporters after the 5G Task Force Mid-Term Report handover event, here today.

Also present were the Communications and Multimedia Ministry secretary-general  Datuk Suriani Ahmad and MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak.

On the 5G Task Force Mid-Term Report, Gobind expressed satisfaction with the rapid progress that the task force had made in identifying the use cases, offering spectrum management solutions, analysing health and safety aspects, while proposing new regulatory and infrastructure mechanisms required for 5G.

"I am indeed impressed by the depth and breadth of the interim report which highlights the commitment you all have shown towards developing the new 5G infrastructure in Malaysia," he said.

There are 113 members in the task force divided into four work groups namely regulatory which includes health and safety, spectrum management and allocation, infrastructure and business case.

The task force made up of demand groups, service providers, business associations, equipment vendors, academics, government ministries and agencies, demonstrated the new collaborative way of building ecosystems based on Kemakmuran Bersama, he said.

Gobind said 5G, which promises ultra-fast speeds, massive connectivity and low latency, would foster industrial and societal transformation in Malaysia.

"It will open up innovation and new opportunities in various sectors including agriculture, education, government administration, health, public safety and transportation, to name a few," he added.

According to Gobind, three major factors would impact 5G growth in the region namely opportunities, cost of roll-out and ecosystem dependencies where MCMC and the task force had proactively worked on these matters.

In respect of ecosystem dependencies, Gobind said policy frameworks such as spectrum availability and pricing, technology readiness such as standards and devices availability, and receptive market conditions, come into play.

"Malaysia’s foresight to adopt 5G in 2018, and aggressiveness in deploying testbeds and demonstrating projects this year itself, ought to position the country as one of the leaders of 5G adoption in the world," he said.

With regard to spectrum management solutions, Gobind said the government through MCMC had issued a Public Inquiry on the Allocation of Spectrum Bands for Mobile Broadband Service.

The public inquiry, which started on July 1 and would end on Aug 30, is being undertaken to seek inputs on the optimum bandwidth, award mechanism, timeline for the allocation process and broad principles to determine spectrum fees for the 700 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz spectrum band, he said.

Upon completion of the public inquiry, Gobind said a spectrum roadmap for Malaysia would be developed by the first quarter of 2020. — Bernama