Malaysia to start 5G network demos, will not block Huawei

Malaysia will kick off demonstration of 5G projects next month, indicating it was on track to become one of the first Asian nations to launch the high-speed Internet service.
Malaysia telecom minister Gobind Singh DeoAxiata’s Celcom, Telekom Malaysia and Maxis are expected to launch 5G services in select cities across Malaysia.

Analyst firm GlobalData earlier said it expects 5G services to be commercially available in Malaysia in 2022 and account for an estimated 1.7 percent of mobile subscriptions by 2023.

Deepa Dhingra, telecom analyst at GlobalData, said: “4G will be the most adopted wireless network technology in Malaysia, driven by LTE network expansions and improvements by mobile operators.”

The total telecom and pay-TV services revenue in Malaysia will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2 percent between 2018 and 2023, a research report from GlobalData said.

Mobile data services will account for 39 percent of the total telecom and pay-TV services revenue in Malaysia by the end of 2023 and remain the largest revenue contributor to the overall market through the forecast period.

The government has said it wants to start rolling out the 5G mobile internet service early next year Malaysia, unlike Vietnam and some developed nations, is unlikely to block supply of 5G equipment from China’s Huawei.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. U.S. government has put Huawei in a blacklist in May due to fear that its 5G telecom equipment could be used for spying, a charge the company denies.

“It is hoped that Malaysia’s early commitment to 5G, to rapidly deploying 5G test beds and nationwide demonstration projects, will position the country as one of the leaders of 5G adoption in the world,” Gobind Singh Deo, Malaysia’s minister of communications and multimedia, told an industry event.

Huawei already has preliminary 5G agreements with Malaysian companies such as Axiata’s Celcom, Telekom Malaysia and Maxis.

The Shenzhen, China-based company expects the memorandums of understanding (MoU) to lead to contracts, a Huawei official said.

Ericsson, one of the rivals of Huawei, has already tied up with Celcom to power the first 5G hologram call in Malaysia in April.