5G technology is going to be the cornerstone of Malaysia’s march into the new age and a vital foundation for the country to remain relevant and competitive, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking at the launch of the 5G Malaysia showcase here, the Prime Minister said Malaysians can leverage on this technology within the next three years and catapult the national economy towards strong and sustainable growth.
“We have come a long way and yet there’s still a distance to go,” he said, adding that 5G would impact every industry that is vital to the growth of the country’s economy.
“Industries like manufacturing that has contributed 22% to the Gross Domestic Product in the last five years, remains integral to the national economy.
“Through smart manufacturing or massive machine-type communications, the government hopes that it can attract high value-added, high technology and knowledge-intensive investment in areas such as aerospace, chemicals and chemical products, machinery and equipment and medical devices,” Dr Mahathir said.
He was given a taste of the future when he was driven in a driverless car and had a conversation with a hologram.
The Prime Minister was taken on a driverless blue Proton Exora for a 500m ride from the Palace of Justice to the Putrajaya Corporation building on the opposite side of the road.
A safety driver was present and sat on the driver’s seat and showed the prime minister that the car was able to manoeuvre even though his hands were not on the steering wheel.
Dr Mahathir was visibly impressed with this latest technology as he waved at the crowd and media cameramen.
As he entered the function hall, he was again given an experience of how things will be in the future when he had his face scanned to gain entry into the hall.
Later at the launch, the Prime Minister spoke to a little girl by the name of Aisyah, not with her physically but her hologram.
Aisyah or her real name Tengku Zara Eryna Tengku Ahmad Saifuddin is no stranger to Dr Mahathir.
The seven-year-old was featured in an election campaign video with the prime minister last year.
During the short conversation with the hologram, “Aisyah” asked: “Atuk, when you were my age, what G were you on?”
Dr Mahathir replied “Zero G”, drawing laughter from the audience.
“Aisyah” also asked Dr Mahathir what’s next for Malaysia beyond 5G, to which she answered “Teleporting humans”.
Dr Mahathir told the audience that the government, through the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan and the National 5G Task Force would create an environment conducive for the growth of 5G.
The 5G showcase event is open to public at the Putrajaya Corporation Complex until April 21.
by mazwin nik anis and joseph kaos jr The Star
Firms racing to be the first to provide 5G
With the government backing 5G in order for the country to get on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, many companies are racing to be the first to bring the benefits of the technology to the masses.
“The 5G technology will enable our industries to fully exploit the power of artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, virtual reality, and software engineering,” said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo at the launch of the inaugural 5G Malaysia Showcase.
“It will bring innovation which will substantially impact almost every sector, including education, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment and public safety.”
The four-day showcase at Kom-pleks Perbadanan Putrajaya features 11 local and international telcos, tech companies and higher learning institutions.
Digi showcased the potential of 5G in emergency services.
Digi chief executive officer Albern Murty said: “It enables the use of 4K video, collection and transferring of data in real-time to respective emergency services such as first responders, hospitals, and the fire department, saving valuable time.
“What is equally important is 5G’s capability to dedicate a portion of the network for mission critical services such as emergencies.”
The system uses a drone which will scout road and traffic conditions, and transmit the data to the a Command Centre Monitoring System, ambulance and hospital in real time.
Celcom Axiata Bhd unveiled its first autonomous car, a collaboration with eMoovit and Ericsson, which uses a combination of sensors, cameras, radar and artificial intelligence to travel without a human driver.
Celcom also showcased its 5G Hologram Call technology which projects people and objects in 3D.
In a demo, Maxis proved that its 5G network could exceed 5Gbps (gigabits per second).
Its chief technology officer Morten Bangsgaard said: “It’s been slightly over a month we started our live trials. What we are doing now is validating how it will perform in real life, under different conditions like what it happens when it rains. These are practical things that will enable us to learn how to build the network, understand expected capacities, cost involved, which are important to allow us to plan for our rollout.”
But he said the nationwide rollout could only be planned after it gets the spectrum allocation.
“The government has indicated that an announcement on spectrum allocation will be made later this year,” he said.
TM One chief executive officer Azizi A. Hadi said the most important element in the 5G race was how it is used to benefit people’s lives and consequently take Malaysia to the next level.
He showed how the Smart Safety Helmet developed by TM can be used to tell the location of the wearer as well as if the person is injured in the line of duty.
Nokia on the other hand demonstrated how 5G could be used for venues, allowing more devices to be connected at the same time, and events streamed in virtual reality for those who could not attend.
It also showed off a virtual reality table tennis game, and how 5G could be used for quality control in the manufacturing field.
ZTE had a demo of a racing game streamed from a remote location to a virtual reality headset using 5G, showing how the technology can be used to make gaming more accessible to those without a gaming machine.
Huawei offered a virtual reality 4K drone for attendees to try out. The drone would pan and tilt according to users’ head movements in “almost” real-time.
It also showcased the use of 5G in agriculture, aquaculture, healthcare alongside its RuralStar technology, which it says will be able to provide cellular coverage to rural and underdeveloped areas.
U Mobile showed tele-surgery, multi stream 4K videos and low latency gaming but cautioned that 5G requires supporting devices for it to take off.
Jasmine Lee, U Mobile chief marketing officer, said: “Even 4G did not really take off until there were devices, and content, so it is really going to be the same for 5G.”
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