Melaka is set to become the next state to get 5G coverage, or at least, parts of it. The state will be one of the earliest to get the network, with a total of 40 locations in Ayer Keroh and Bandar Melaka expected to receive 5G coverage by the end of September.
Furthermore, those locations are only part of the 133 locations in Melaka that have been targeted for the first phase of the 5G network, although it was not disclosed when the full rollout is planned to unfurl. According to State Education and Technology Committee chairman Rais Yasin, the launch will also see the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) expand the coverage through street furniture such as street lights.
The chairman elaborated that several smart applications such as AI surveillance and IoT sensors will be integrated through the smart 5G lamp posts to improve security and transportation. The state has also set up a task force under the Melaka Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) to fast-track the approval process for the construction of telecommunication structures in the state.
After it was reported that two major carriers were at risk of missing out on 5G, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz revealed last week that six of the country’s telcos are finally on board with the deal. This involves signing up with DNB’s 5G network as well as purchasing a collective total of 70% of the state vehicle’s shares.
That being said, the ink isn’t dry yet as the companies are still ironing out the details of the deal, which will have to be finalised by 31 August. The minister said there was a chance of some telcos potentially delaying talks, adding that despite the priority given to local companies, there are also foreign telecommunication firms eager to enter the Malaysian market.
Contingent upon the carriers meeting the deadline, the country could reportedly get 5G coverage in 30% of populated areas by mid-September. Currently, the network is only available in parts of Klang Valley, Johor, Ipoh, and Ketereh, with Penang also eyeing a rollout this year.