KUALA LUMPUR (April 15): Malaysia is still studying the use of the fifth generation technology (5G) pioneered by China.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Technology and Standards Division chief Dr Ahmad Nasruddin Atiqullah Fakruddin said the official report on safety studies on the development of the 5G infrastructure must be given time.
"This issue of safety fears is indeed given attention. MCMC with the co-operation of the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) and several agencies of other ministries are working on it.
"Other issues studied, for example, the regulatory issues because the 5G technology also encompasses the issues of other services.
"For example, autonomous vehicles, it does not only involve MCMC, in fact, it also involves other authorities such as RTD (Road Transport Department) and also vertical industries which can make beneficial use of 5G technology," he told Bernama after becoming a guest on the 24-hour news radio station, Bernama Radio Ala Carte Pagi programme, with the title ‘’Preparations Towards 5G And Its Benefit To Consumers” here today.
He said because the 5G technology would be launched and used commercially by 2021 or 2022, the country still had time to scrutinise based on several matters which needed to be improved such as the aspect of standard, regulatory and networks that must be upgraded.
In the meantime, on measures that could be taken by MCMC to ensure that the existing networks provided by telecommunication operators were expanded into non-economical areas before shifting towards 5G, Ahmad Nasruddin said the government had many initiatives, among others, under the Universal Service Provision (USP) Programme.
"The USP is used by the Government to improve or provide coverage in rural areas. The initiative was ongoing starting with 2G technology before the facility’s technology was improved up to 4G which also permits other telecommunication operators to help to conduct upgradings,’’ he said.
In order to support the forward-moving technology, it was crucial that all telecommunication operator networks moved in tandem to upgrade the quality and optimise on the existing 4G network to tackle the problem of broadband congestion, he said.
Ahmad Nasruddin also drew attention that the use of 5G technology via Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) would become the best solution to overcome the broadband coverage reach problem especially in the interior of the country.
"The 5G technology can become a game changer. If in the past, we pull one by one fibre optic to the house from the nearest substation, now it is reversed. We use a substation and the 5G will transmit wireless network at fiber light speed to houses, depending on the package and the condition of the area of the house," he said, adding that the bandwidth received was the same as the experience of using optic fibre cable.
Behind the study implemented towards introducing 5G technology, MCMC conceded that there were challenges which must be taken into account because the 5G network must use a higher frequency spectrum.
"Another challenge is the use of the millimeter wave. Malaysia is a tropical country and has a heavy rainfall. The frequency will be impacted because our rain water drop is big," he said, adding that a study was currently being conducted by several renowned local universities on the effect and way to overcome it using the millimeter wave.
Ahmad Nasruddin also revealed that the progress of the 5G technology also had the potential to generate economic growth through the provision of the next generation’s digital services traversing major industries such as automotive, health, agriculture, manufacturing and education since Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and widespread machine communication were part of components which depended on the technology.