Telenor: No reason for Malaysia not to compete in 5G race

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SHAH ALAM (Jan 17): Telenor Research, the research arm of Norway-based Telenor Group, said there is no reason for Malaysia not to compete in the fifth generation (5G) technology race as the deployment presents an opportunity for the country to boost its industrialisation.

Telenor Research head Bjorn Taale Sandberg said as 5G would provide a faster, safer and more efficient connection, it could offer an opportunity for a country to be a solution provider in different fields or industries.

“5G...it is an opportunity for a country to participate in creating solutions in many different fields.

“If you are early, you can take your position, and chances for you to do that is better than if you are late,” he told a media briefing here, today.

Telenor Group owns a 49% stake in Digi.Com Bhd.

Citing the US, China and South Korea as examples, Sandberg said the three countries had adopted 5G much faster than the rest in the world.

He believed the three countries understood 5G well and wanted to make sure that they are the ones who build the solutions.

“But there will be so many opportunities in so many fields out there, and there is no reason for Malaysia not to compete in this,” he said.

Commenting on Malaysia’s 5G demonstration projects (5GDP), Sandberg said Malaysia’s move was not far behind in understanding the 5G industry.

“As we (Telenor Group) are also doing 5G pilot projects in Norway now to understand the industrial needs and the 5G performance.

“It is just like the demonstration projects Malaysia is doing now,” he added.

Sandberg noted that to ensure the efficiency of 5G implementation, each operator has to have a continued bloc of spectrum to use as 5G requires high-band spectrum as compared with the mid-band spectrum currently used for 2G, 3G and 4G services.

“If you have that, you can have more than two times the efficiency...this is the most important thing,” he said.

Currently, the 5GDP is being carried out in six states in Malaysia, namely Kedah (Langkawi), Perak, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur for six months since October last year.

The objective of the demonstration is to facilitate, develop and foster 5G use cases in a live but controlled environment. This will also help to facilitate collaboration between the ministries and industries.

Malaysia is poised to roll out the commercialisation of 5G technology in the third quarter of this year.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to officiate the 5GDP in Langkawi on Jan 19.