5G trials will get underway this month in Malaysia, with the country’s government confirming that eight companies have pledged a combined initial investment of MYR116 million ($27.7 million).
The trials will last for six months, and are aimed at boosting business deployments of 5G across nine sectors: agriculture, education, entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing, oil & gas, smart cities, transport, and tourism.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak noted that the trials would facilitate 55 use cases in these sectors, with 32 5G sites being deployed across six of the country’s states. The commission is seeking further investment for 5G and has called for proposals to expand connectivity into more states.
He noted that the goal was to develop “a holistic and inclusive 5G ecosystem in pursuit of stimulating demand as well as adoption” and that “we hope to commercialise some of the use cases beginning third quarter of 2020.”
Ishak also said that the investment pledges from the eight companies showed “the industry’s commitment in establishing a strong use for viable 5G applications that will transform various industries as well as impact positively the living standards of Malaysians”.
Malaysia’s leading mobile operators Digi and Maxis, which each have a market share of just over a quarter, are expanding their infrastructure sharing arrangements in order to boost their capex ahead of widespread 5G deployments.