PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is confident that Malaysia can leverage on 5G technology within the next three years.
He said this could be done if the country made the necessary preparations for the transformational technology.
“By doing so, it will enable the country to punch above its own weight and catapult the national economy towards strong and sustainable growth.
“We have come a long way and yet there’s still a distance to go,” said Dr Mahathir at the launch of the 5G Malaysia: Progressing Humanity Programme.
The prime minister arrived at the event venue in a blue autonomous vehicle, driven using the 5G technology.
The government, Dr Mahathir said, would embark on the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) to ensure readiness and timely deployment of 5G technology.
He said 5G would impact every industry that was vital to the growth of the economy.
“Industries like manufacturing that contributed 22 per cent to the GDP in the last five years, remains integral to the national economy.
“Through smart manufacturing or massive machine-type communications, the government hopes that it can attract high value-added, high technology and knowledge-intensive investment in areas such as aerospace, chemicals and chemical products, machinery and equipment, medical devices, and electrical andelectronics.”
He said about 98.5 per cent of Malaysian SMEs were in the manufacturing sector.
“Thus, it is the manufacturing sector that allows Malaysia to consistently demonstrate dynamism and resilience to grow, while attracting foreign direct investments.
“To that end, we have introduced Industry 4Ward (Industry forward) for the manufacturing sector that will touch on funding, infrastructure, regulations, talent and access to technology to enable manufacturers to integrate Industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data into their operations.”
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia aimed to be in the top 30 of the Global Innovation Index ranks by the year 2025.
It was reported that operators in China, India and Japan will launch 5G by next year, and other countries across the Asia Pacific will follow.
GSMA Intelligence has forecast that by 2025, there will be 1.2 billion 5G connections worldwide, with 5G networks covering almost 40 per cent of the global population.
Asia Pacific will account for more than half of these, or 675 million 5G connections by 2025.
5G supports faster speeds, lower latency and more connections than 4G, and its enhanced encryption algorithms and privacy and authentication mechanisms will make it a more secure technology.
Besides Huawei, HTC, Ericsson, China Mobile, Nokia and OnePlus will also participate in the growth of the infrastructure and introduce 5G devices.