Malaysia is transitioning to 5G, which has the potential to transform mobile technology. 5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks. 5G networks can transmit data faster because they are built on high-frequency airwaves, also known as a high-bandwidth spectrum.
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, if not, supplemented the 4G LTE connection. The differences between 5G and 4G are faster speeds, lower latency (1 ms), and the ability to connect to more devices per 1sqkm. Previously, the latency on pre-existing networks was around 20ms, but with 5G, latency drops to 1ms. The low delay rate aids in the reduction of lag when connecting devices.
Penang, which was chosen as one of six Malaysian states to implement the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP), a step toward 5G that began in 2020, is now the northern region’s first state to have a 5G spectrum network.
According to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, a total of 151 sites have been identified to transmit 5G spectrum in the island area this year through the 5G Implementation Plan in Penang Phase 1 by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). Chow said, “Of the 151 sites, 58 will be new 5G telecommunication structures, with the remaining 93 being upgrades to existing communication structures”. “For the 2023 plan, through the implementation plan for phase two, a total of 235 5G standard communication structures will be established in the Seberang Perai area and an additional 77 in the island area in the North East district,” he continues.
This new technology will improve global data transmission, research, communication quality, and even entertainment for a more sophisticated lifestyle. For instance, downloading movies will be much faster because of the high definition (HD).
The Penang state government is committed to developing the 5G broadband spectrum infrastructure. Chow hopes that Penang will continue to make strides in the provision of an efficient 5G communication infrastructure to ensure that all citizens in the state have access to gigabit internet following the Penang2030 Vision: A Family-focused Green and Smart State.
“The Penang International Airport (PIA) in Bayan Lepas will also be the first airport in Malaysia with 5G network coverage,” he continues.
With 5G network coverage, the digital trajectory of the nation’s economy will change, and industries can fully utilise AI, robotics, software engineering, and big data. Organisations in the state can ensure that they remain at the forefront of digital transformation by recognising the importance of 5G technology and proactively investing in 5G-ready technology.