A few weeks ago, we have made our way to Langkawi to checked out a number of live 5G sites that are hosting the 5G Demonstration Projects (5GDP). Among them include TM’s 5G site at Pantai Chenang in which the company has demonstrated to us the capability of its network with a speed test.
At that time, the live speed test was performed on TM’s 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA) C-band network which showed a max throughput of around 1.2Gbps. Between that time and this weekend though, TM has since activated another 5G SA network but on 700MHz frequency.
Both the C-band and 700MHz 5G SA implementations are running at the same time which is said to be the first of its kind in the world. In a media presentation at Langkawi earlier today, TM has also revealed that the company managed to achieve a speed of more than 200Mbps on its 700MHz 5G SA network.
According to Nor Hisham Md. Nordin, the Head of Mobile 5G at TM, the test was performed on a Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G. While the speed might be much lower than the C-band 5G SA network, he stated that the lower frequency network has better reach than higher frequency network.
In fact, one transmission tower can theoretically cover an area of around 10km through the 700MHz frequency. Hence, TM is already looking at the 700MHz 5G network as a possible method to improve the Internet connectivity in rural areas according to the company’s Chief Strategy Officer, Tengku Muneer Tengku Muzani.
He has also revealed that TM is the sole company that is operating 700MHz 5G network for the on-going 5GDP phase at the moment, as it is the only one that has requested the trial access for the frequency from the government.
Given that 700MHz has been chosen by MCMC as one of the pioneer 5G spectrum bands, it is going to be interesting to see how things will further progress from here. Not only from TM’s perspective, but also the industry as a whole.