TM, Digi team up to test 5G network sharing

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by BLOOMBERG

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd have inked a memorandum of understanding to test 5G network sharing during the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP) period.

The two companies have agreed to work together in testing the capabilities, possibilities and limitations of 5G network sharing between multiple network service operators.

The collaboration reflects TM’s commitment, openness and neutrality to work together with industry players towards achieving the government’s aspiration for a more cost-effective 5G deployment, its group CEO Datuk Noor Kamarul Annuar Nuruddin said.

“We aspire to not only enable the ecosystem, but also plan to be a neutral partner for industry players and collaboration partners towards serving a more digital society and lifestyle, digital businesses and industry verticals, as well as digital government.

“The collaboration is also hoped to accelerate the delivery of 5G services nationwide and bring benefits to customers, in line with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) aspiration in progressing humanity towards improving the quality of people’s lives,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The 5GDP also enables TM to demonstrate its capabilities to deploy 5G in Malaysia, whereby the group has rolled out the first 5G standalone dedicated network in the country.

Under the partnership, Digi will be operating its 5GDP sites (including on-site 5G radio network and 5G core network) in Langkawi, Kedah, to run its 5G use cases, supported by TM in providing fibre backhaul to these sites.

Both telecommunication companies are also exploring 5G Radio Access Network sharing in Langkawi.

Digi will continue its commitment to build a robust 5G ecosystem with the industry through the partnership, its CEO Albern Murty said.

Work is well underway with several of Digi’s use case trials deployed through numerous partnerships in Langkawi and the 5G OpenLab in Cyberjaya, he added.

“The findings we gather from these trials will help determine how we can rollout 5G in a more concerted way across the industry, echoing MCMC’s ambitions towards a shared approach in deploying 5G for the country,” Murty stated.

Digi has implemented two 5G use cases in Langkawi, namely virtual tourism at the Langkawi International Airport and real-time medical data transfer and connected ambulance at Hospital Sultanah Maliha.

Concurrently, TM has already embarked on 11 use cases in Langkawi covering the smart city, smart tourism and smart agriculture clusters.

The government-initiated 5GDP kicked off in October last year, with the aim of facilitating, building and nurturing the development of promising 5G use cases in a live, controlled environment, and also to grow Malaysia’s 5G ecosystem.

During this period, participating industry players are actively testing new 5G features, exploring 5G technology and assessing the best way to deploy 5G infrastructures nationwide.