Malaysia is seeking 5G expertise from global telecommunications firms, particularly from China and Japan, according to Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
“We remain open for proposals and I am constantly meeting with companies which have ideas on how best Malaysia can roll out 5G and make full use of the allocated spectrum,” he told the Nikkei Asian Review after addressing the Cyber Initiative Tokyo 2019 in Tokyo.
The Minister also confirmed his meeting with Chinese firm Fiberhome and Japan’s Fujitsu, NEC and Rakuten to learn about their respective products and solutions. “It is a combination of both, where I see what they have to offer and also invite them to participate in the Malaysia rollout,” he said.
He said an industry-led Malaysia 5G task force will present its findings by January next year, after which the government will formulate a dedicated policy on 5G rollout, including comprehensive plans and key targets for Telcos.
The government hosted a 5G showcase last April to exhibit capabilities and obtain initial public feedback on the technology. “We showcased all the usage of holograms, remote patient treatment and diagnosis, humanoid robotic motion control and autonomous cars,” Gobind said.
He said that since then, the test beds have been extended nationwide, where 55 use cases will be demonstrated over the next six months.
To further drive the development of 5G, the government has also announced an allocation of $12 million for a 5G ecosystem development grant and an allocation of $6 million to set up a contestable matching grant fund to spur more pilot projects on digital applications. Pilot projects include drone delivery, autonomous vehicles, block-chain technology, and other products and services that leverage fiber-optic and 5G infrastructure.
The minister also reiterated that the Malaysian government will not stop any local telecommunications players from pursuing partnerships with Huawei, as Malaysia keeps its doors open for the Chinese firm — which is suspected of espionage and sanctioned by the U.S. and other developed economies.
“We are open to any technology providers that can assist in the expedient and cost-effective deployment of infrastructure, including Huawei,” said Gobind. “Any decision by local communications service providers to partner with Chinese firms would be a commercial decision, but the regulatory requirements in relation to standards and other technical matters would have to be adhered to.”[Full Story]– Nikkei Asian Review