New Straits Times
All geared up for 5G deployment nationwide
KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) is ready for the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) technology.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin said TM is committed to providing high-speed broadband to more than 98 per cent of the population.
“This includes building critical infrastructure for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and creating new opportunities for large enterprises as well as small businesses,” he said in an interview recently.
Noor Kamarul, however, said the government would need to award the spectrum licence before TM can proceed with the 5G deployment.
He said the cost of installing the infrastructure is within the company’s cost guidance.
“We continuously evolve in line with customers’ needs and technology advancements. Today, we serve the digital society, empowering citizens with the right skills to live and thrive in a digital world. We also serve the digital economy, enabling the acceleration of core processes across priority sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing and oil and gas, and promoting the information and communications technology sector’s growth.”
Noor Kamarul said TM began deploying high-speed broadband and sub-urban broadband projects in 2008 to support the national digital economy agenda.
“To date, we have installed over three million ports and contributed to the increase in broadband penetration from 16.5 per 100 inhabitants in 2010 to 131.7 per 100 inhabitants last year.
“We are upgrading our network to improve quality and to be 5Gready. This will increase our network capacity by more than 10 times,” he added.
Chief strategy officer Tengku Muneer Tengku Muzani dismissed the notion that TM is holding other telcos back and said the group should be allowed to roll out 5G to propagate faster connectivity for the country.
“But it is the government’s prerogative. We want to be the telco of telcos. It is not about monopoly, but rather allowing other telcos to ride on our infrastructure.
“There are more than 100 licensees in the country but nobody has done it because it is costly. Economies of scale are required and we have already achieved it.”
Tengku Muneer said the deployment of 5G is dependent on the area of coverage and the import of equipment, which may take time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In terms of digitising the entire country, there is no single company that can do it. Hence, every player needs to participate. We do not want an overlapping infrastructure. Sharing infrastructure is a common thing among the telco industry.”
He said TM aspires to roll out 5G to underserved households, adding that the future will not be about Internet quota but rather unlimited data.