MRANTI 5G Experience Centre boosts Malaysia’s 5G adoption

It is the 1st govt-led 5G centre that offers a prototyping, test, demo and lab area with speeds up to 1GBps, for industrial applications and use cases by vertical sectors to be showcased

by AUFA MARDHIAH /pic by Muhd Amin Naharul

THE Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI) 5G Experience Centre will enable the fast-track of new innovations.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang (picture) said although 5G coverage has reached 50%, the adoption is still very low.

“We hope that our innovators and the industry can make use of this 5G experience centre in MRANTI to grow our industry, especially those in the technology sector namely drone, biotech and more,” he said at the launch of the centre today.

Designed for prototyping, testing and development, the MRANTI 5G Experience Centre will complement a growing number of 5G innovation facilities in Malaysia.

It is the first government-led 5G centre that offers a prototyping, test, demo and lab area with speeds up to 1GBps, for industrial applications and use cases by vertical sectors to be showcased.

According to industry research, the deployment of 5G is expected to provide a potential GDP uplift of some RM122 billion and 750,000 new jobs by the year 2030.

As the MRANTI 5G Experience Centre is an initiative funded by the government, Chang called for more early adopters to propel the growth of Industry 4.0 solutions, with the use of 5G technologies

“This is the start of an effort to encourage people to use 5G technology. Cost is not so much a problem, if the industry is interested, the government is going to come out with the model,” Chang said.

While the country’s 5G network is predicted to reach 80% coverage by the end of 2023, according to a recent Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) Intelligence analysis, Malaysia now has a 1% 5G adoption rate while having close to 50% 5G population coverage.

Meanwhile, industry observers said a major indication for the success of 5G must involve enterprise innovation and use cases that enable compelling applications to accelerate industry adoption.

During the launch, Chang addressed five aspects to fuel 5G adoption that were identified recently at a 5G industry roundtable organised by MRANTI, namely infrastructure and facilities, ecosystem development, market access, talent development and government support.

“Altogether, the initiatives announced today on the national testbed for 5G innovation address key concerns and set the stage to elevate Malaysia’s competitive advantage to draw in direct and indirect investment,” Chang added.

Concurrently, he also announced the roll-out of the five proofs-of-concept (PoC) involving network operators, IoT solution providers and technology developers encompassing solutions for healthcare, agriculture, smart city development, drone technology and surveillance, among others to benefit the bottom 40% (B40) communities, as well as industry.

Commenting on how the PoC benefits the B40 communities, Chang said a lot of the time, the economy is about the flow of information.

“When we have connectivity problems, we might face problems in education and the marketplace for example, but 5G could help the b40 communities to market their products to other places and not only in their own community.

“Another part is education — with connectivity, only then can one have access to education. One of the previously hinted at issues was the line connection for students to online study — a student in Sabah has to climb up the tree just to get connectivity, we hope to solve this problem,” he said.

During the ceremony, MRANTI announced a collaboration with GSMA as part of its PoC effort which will open up market access for Malaysian innovators to potentially collaborate with more than 1,000 mobile ecosystem players worldwide to advance locally designed and produced innovation.

Other than that, MRANTI will also collaborate with Maxis Bhd to build on a unique opportunity to accelerate 5G innovation and commercialisation. The collaboration aims to build on a unique opportunity to accelerate 5G innovation and commercialisation.

MRANTI has also previously signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with other companies for the advancement of 5G in the country namely Digital Network Bhd, Ericsson Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Huawei and Telekom Malaysia Bhd.

The MRANTI 5G Experience Centre can also be utilised by universities, researchers and industry experts as a platform to deliberate on matters in 5G applied research.

In addition to being 5G-ready, MRANTI Park provides full-service infrastructure, facilities and services to facilitate the commercialisation of breakthrough 5G technologies across the innovation development lifecycle.

It includes access to cutting-edge equipment, high-speed computing facilities and resources, as well as access to and help from industry professionals.

MRANTI also has plans in the pipeline to build a 12km autonomous car living lab in the area, as well as a 5-acre (2ha) drone centre of excellence to enhance the development of Industry 4.0 technologies.