Starting from October this year, telco companies, industry partners, and government agencies have begun to deploy 5G implementations throughout the country as part of the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP) series that were announced by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in September. Out of these 55 projects, a significant number of them are located in Langkawi.
Over the past two days, we have made our way to various parts of Langkawi to check out some of these implementations. Before we discuss about them further, we believe that many are curious about the speed of the 5G network that have been implemented at the island.
Since Langkawi is a popular tourist destination, it is not surprising that our first 5G experience at the island took place right at one of its main entrance, the Langkawi International Airport (LIA). However, do bear with us with incomplete information below though, as it seemed that the companies have left their demo areas after presenting their demo to the MCMC’s Chairman.
This is because we couldn’t find anyone to talk to about their 5G network after the media Q&A session with the Chairman. That is with the exception of Digi but they somehow didn’t bring a test phone to LIA at that time.
While it is not known why the company’s personnel choose Yes4G’s server as the speed test’s target server, edotco’s banner at LIA stated that the company has a partnership with Celcom. The company is currently implementing Smart Airport solution at LIA and the speed test above was performed using a ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G.
TM utilizes a sub-6 Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G network to demonstrate its Smart Tourism App and 8K Virtual Reality at LIA. The company’s exec performed the speed test with a Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G.
Maxis also demonstrate the speed of its 5G network at LIA through a Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G. The telco set up a kiosk at LIA that allows users to generally enjoy a selection of contents via its 5G network through two Huawei tablets that are connected to a Huawei 5G CPE Pro.
A bulk of our speed test took place on the second day of our site tour which started at Pusat Internet Kampung Padang Wahid. The community Internet center is one of more than 800 Pusat Internet that were established throughout the country under MCMC’s Universal Service Provision (USP) program.
At the center, Maxis has implemented a 5G-powered eKelas program with virtual reality enhancement which is connected through a Huawei 5G CPE Pro. The speed test above with Huawei Mate 30 Pro is connected directly to Maxis 5G sub-6 NSA 5G network though, not via the CPE Pro.
After that, we made our way to Langkawi Hospital in which Digi 5G sub-6 NSA 5G network is being used to enable Real-Time Medical Data Transfer directly from ambulance to the doctor’s phone. As ZTE is the telco’s infrastructure partner, the speed test above was aptly performed with a ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G.
We then moved on to Berjaya Langkawi Resort at the Teluk Burau to check out U Mobile’s collaboration with DoctorOnCall which involved the implement of a mobile diagnosis pod that allows remote real-time doctor consultation service. The telco’s 5G site at the premise which was deployed through collaboration with ZTE is also quite unique since it contains both sub-6 and mmWave NSA 5G network.
To demonstrate the speed of its mmWave implementation, U Mobile uses ZTE’s network test apparatus as the company didn’t possess an end-user mmWave device at the moment. As for the telco’s sub-6 network, it somehow refused to work during our visit, so we have to make do with the result of the speed test that the company did with a ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G a day before our visit.
The last stop in our 2-day Langkawi 5G site visit is the Pantai Cenang. Over there, we checked out the implementations by TM who has deployed plenty of 5GDP tests within the area including Smart Safety & Security Solutions, Smart Parking, Smart Retail Analytics, Smart Vehicle Management System, Smart Safety Helmet, and People Safety app.
What made TM’s 5G network at Pantai Cenang different from other implementations in Langkawi is that it also includes a Standalone (SA) 5G network which is said to be the first such implementation in the country.
While the performance between both types of 5G network seems rather similar according to the speed test results that was shown above, TM said that the Huawei Mate 30 Pro on the left is connected to its SA network while the unit on the right was on its NSA network.
While the speed test results above might look rather impressive, let’s not forget that 5G is not just about speed alone. The implementation of 5G in Malaysia is still in its early days which is why these 5G demo projects exist in the first place.
This is to allow everyone the opportunity to find and explore the potential benefits and innovations that can be achieved through this upcoming major evolution in the wireless communication technology. Stay tuned as we’ll take a closer look at selected 5G demo projects coming your way soon.