Digi, partners to launch Malaysia's first 5G virtual tourism experience

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd has partnered with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and Panorama Langkawi to initiate Malaysia’s first real-time virtual tourism experience, powered by 5G, at the Langkawi International Airport (LGK).

A cable car gondola and a virtual reality (VR) experiential zone set up at the LGK would allow visitors to enjoy a 360-degree view of Gunung Machinchang, live-streamed from 20km away via a camera mounted at the Langkawi SkyCab middle station, where the world’s steepest cable car ride takes one 708 metres above sea level.

In a statement today, Digi said the 5G virtual tourism experience, which is open to the public until March this year, is projected to provide a new immersive and integrated travel experience for tourists and further the tourism industry in the nation.

This showcase is part of Digi’s use case in the 5G Demonstration Projects (5GDP), undertaken by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to facilitate, develop and foster 5G use cases in a live but controlled environment.

Digi chief executive officer Albern Murty said that the Langkawi 5G virtual tourism pilot is in line with Digi’s collaborative approach in building a 5G ecosystem alongside partners, as well as corresponds with Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020).

MAHB acting group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the airport operator aims to enhance the airport experience by providing guests with a virtual experience of local tourist attractions at the airport itself, as part of its Experience Malaysia initiative that it has embarked in support of the VM2020 campaign.

He added further that last year, LGK received the “Highly Commended” recognition in the ‘Under 4 million passengers’ category at the prestigious Routes Asia 2019 Marketing Awards.

The award was a testament to the airport operator’s efforts in strengthening LGK’s marketability and presence on the tourism map, as well as act as a larger catalyst to the island’s economic development.

Meanwhile, Panorama Langkawi acting chief operating officer Ir. Abu Hashim Abdul Rahman said the Langkawi SkyCab is an iconic landmark of the island, located within the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark.

"We believe that 5G has the potential to deliver new and engaging digital activities that can improve tourist experiences and enhance the appeal of Langkawi and Malaysia in the eyes of foreign tourists,” Abu Hashim said.

Digi’s 5G live site at the airport is one of the first two on the island, with the second located at the Langkawi Hospital.

The 5G mobile base station located near the LGK terminal operates on a spectrum of 3.4-3.5GHz (C-band) of 100MHz bandwidth with a speed of 1.2Gbps.

Digi is also continuously facilitating 5G use case tests at its 5G OpenLab space in Cyberjaya, which serves as an incubator space for businesses, academics and developers.