5G to create smart homes amid M2M domination

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by ARIF KARTONO

THE implementation of 5G is expected to transform homes into “smart homes”, as machine-tomachine (M2M) communication is going to dominate the country in the next two or three years, said Celcom Axiata Bhd head of innovation Dr Manohar Menon.

5G has a bigger connotation than just handphones, and its transformative capability in connected living should not be judged purely by its network provider potential, he added.

“The first thing that we will witness is how 5G is going to change the way we live in our homes,” Manohar said at the opening ceremony of Asean Makerthon 2019 in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.

For example, light bulbs will become the access points to WiFi and washing machines will have weather sensors to tell the best time to do one’s laundry.

“Your fridge is going to communicate with you if it is out of milk by the time you reach Tesco to get your groceries. It is currently being tested in South Korea by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

“Those are how things are going to change. Those are the revolutionary things that are going to help each of us as individuals,” he added.

Innovation is not just about statistics, technology spectrums or capabilities. Rather, it’s about the manner in which innovation is ingrained in society today, Manohar added.

“By the time we go to 7G, handphones will be obsolete because the way things are going with 5G is impressive with speedier delivery of data and intelligence,” he said.

Apart from the aforementioned use cases which will revolutionise living spaces, 5G will also transform the employment industry — changing the way people communicate, whether on a one-to-one basis or across the organisation.

“Customers will be even more demanding because data are instantaneously provided. So, we will have to find a way to evolve with that,” Manohar noted.

Malaysia’s 5G demonstration projects went live in October 2019, with 55 use cases rolled out across six states at an initial investment cost of RM116 million funded by six companies.

5G spectrum will be made commercially available in the second half of 2020, with rollout to take place once the availability of the spectrum has been confirmed for industry players, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said in September 2019.

Meanwhile, Celcom announced that it’s extending its collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Ericsson (M) Sdn Bhd to proliferate 5G use cases to solve industry and societal issues and problems.

Celcom and Ericsson also brought a live trial 5G radio system to the UTM-Ericsson Innovation Centre of 5G, which was originally established at UTM KL in 2016.

The telecommunications company began its 5G journey with Ericsson in May 2017, with the country’s first-ever 5G trial, where a speed test was conducted and achieved a throughput of 18Gbps.