All geared up for 5G de­ploy­ment na­tion­wide

New Straits Times - - BUSINESS -

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.

PIC BY MUSTAFFA KA­MAL

Telekom Malaysia Bhd be­gan de­ploy­ing high-speed broad­band and sub-ur­ban broad­band projects in 2008 to sup­port the na­tional dig­i­tal econ­omy agenda.

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