Celcom deploys Malaysia’s 1st 5G Live Cluster Field Trial

By TMR / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

IN A bid to accelerate 5G realisation in Malaysia, Celcom Axiata Bhd’s next journey to 5G began with the deployment of the country’s first 5G Live Cluster Field Trial at its headquarters, @celcom.

The six-month 5G field trial will be conducted there and within the surrounding areas of Petaling Jaya Sentral, with the objective to test and observe the use cases and behaviour of 5G coverage within real-life environments.

The trial will explore 5G application models and use cases, demonstrating the ability of 5G to support smart city applications and to explore new vertical industries such as transportation, agriculture, education and security.

As 5G is expected to deliver an all-rounded connectivity to consumers and businesses with a differentiated experience, co-existence of both 4G and 5G NSA (non-standalone architecture) is a fundamental component to the development of a robust 5G infrastructure.

The field trial will also provide areas for good indoor coverage with the use of 5G outdoor fixed wireless access or customer premise equipment (CPE).

Celcom’s initial 5G tests resulted with user throughputs close to 6Gbps and will be further optimised during the live field trials within areas including Seksyen 14, Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Tower, and Taman Jaya LRT Station.

These 5G macro sites cover approximately 1.22 sq km wide, reaching about 450 households, 130 shop lots, offices, shopping areas and outdoor spaces with an estimated population of over 4,600 in the vicinity.

Celcom will be deploying a state-of-the-art network which features massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO 64T64R), using C-band and millimetre Wave technology, enabling an ultra-fast 5G experience with Gigabyte throughput and lower latency of 10 ms.

Celcom’s 5G Live Cluster Field Trial was launched yesterday by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak and Celcom CEO Mohamad Idham Nawawi.

The trial is being conducted in collaboration with technology partner, Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which in April 2019, also inked an agreement with Celcom to deploy the telco’s very own 5G Innovation Hub at Celcom Axiata’s Centre of Excellence (CACE).

The 5G Innovation Hub will be an opportunity for business partners, technology developers, academia and industry players to experience the agile deployment of new 5G verticals and 5G use cases, maximising 5G potential and capabilities.

Furthermore, on July 9, 2019, Celcom signed another memorandum of understanding with Huawei to establish a joint workgroup to explore business opportunities and strategic deployment areas for 5G in Malaysia.

Celcom and Huawei will appoint experts to develop a 5G rollout strategic plan, explore new business models, wireless to home trials, and improvement of data experience on both existing and future network layers.

Mohamad Idham said an in-depth study on 5G’s characteristics is crucial to ensure a smooth roll out.

“We believe that Malaysia’s first 5G trial at @celcom is an ideal platform to test 5G end-to-end.

“Our Celcom network experts together with multiple technology partners, will be testing and familiarising with 5G’s user experience, use cases, network configurations, customer lifecycle management, network optimisation and commercialisation, which will eventually lead to the evolution of existing services, processes, products and business models.

“Celcom will continue to stand with the nation in transforming its aspirations into reality, and we are very confident that this 5G trial will allow us to understand and eventually deliver a world-class network to every Malaysian and realise a truly digital Malaysia,” he said.