KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 -- While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated Malaysia's digital adoption, the country's plan to launch the fifth-generation (5G) services in the third quarter of this year had to be put on hold.
Acknowledging the situation, Nokia's Malaysia head Datuk Siva Shanmugam noted that the government is now focusing on expanding broadband coverage and connectivity as part of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan.
Nevertheless, he said the launch of 5G in Malaysia is inevitable as the country is currently one of Southeast Asia’s most connected countries.
Over 80 per cent of the country’s 32 million population are active Internet users, and over half of the total Internet traffic comes through mobile phones.
"Many businesses took steps to upgrade their digital capacities, such as investing in remote working technology to ensure connectivity and business continuity.
"This shows that while Malaysia is still deliberating how and when it will inevitably launch 5G, the country already possesses an ecosystem that is digitally prepared to embrace a new era of connectivity," he said in the 'Thought' column at www.bernama.com.
Hence, Siva said communication service providers (CSPs), alongside the enterprises they work with, must harness the move to 5G.
He said 5G could give connected enterprises the flexibility and adaptability that provides the gift of time, a valuable commodity under normal circumstances but an extremely vital one now.
"With 5G, the digitalisation of industries will reduce the time taken to design and build solutions, alongside helping organisations prepare technologically for disruptions.
"The importance of network slicing for 5G transformation ‘time to market’ is just as important as ‘time to manufacture’, and the key to 5G enabling rapid deployment of solutions is network slicing," he said.
Network slicing refers to a specific form of virtualisation that allows multiple logical networks to run on top of a shared physical network infrastructure.
In the process of recovering from the pandemic and also preparing for Malaysia 5.0, the country, Siva said has a bright future to look forward to, as the government, businesses, and society understand the impact of broader digitalisation.
He said CSPs in Malaysia must stay agile in identifying how they could support their clients, especially with the imminent launch of 5G.
"At Nokia, we are doing our part to help through our COVID-19 network traffic dashboard, which analyses global network traffic to help CSPs in the country anticipate capacity requirements and optimise resources.
"For now, we must all remain steadfast in enduring COVID-19. We are certain to come out stronger and when we do, 5G is there to help us create a world that is smarter, safer, and prepared to not only weather critical periods, but prepare Malaysia’s economy for a more digitalised environment," he added.
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