Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysia set to spend $3.7 billion over next decade to roll out 5G connectivity

Malaysia set to spend $3.7 billion over next decade to roll out 5G connectivity

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said the 5G rollout will begin in some areas by the end of this year. MALAYSIA’S DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION/AFP

Malaysia set to spend $3.7 billion over next decade to roll out 5G connectivity

Malaysians can expect faster and wider Internet connections in the coming years as the government is injecting 15 billion ringgit ($3.7 billion) to roll out the country’s 5G network over the next 10 years.

The 5G rollout will begin in some areas by the end of this year, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at the launch of the MyDigital & the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint on February 19.

The 5G technology will boost healthcare, such as enabling “health monitoring applications for chronic patients, smart emergency assistance and special applications for senior citizens who are living alone”, he said.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced many workers to work from home and students to go online for their lessons, has shown the need for faster Internet service, he said.

There have been reports of students climbing trees or hills for better reception, particularly in large states with poor broadband penetration such as Sabah and Kelantan.

The 5G network could be up to 20 times faster than current 4G mobile connections.

Muhyiddin said: “The role of digital technology has become more obvious over the last one year when the Covid-19 pandemic created challenges for countries to continue life as normal.

“It has never been clearer that technology is a convenient tool for advancement in the best of times, and an essential tool of survival during the most challenging of crises.”

Among the aims of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint were tackling digital inequality in education by providing all households with access to the Internet, and all students access to online learning.

Malaysia’s household Internet penetration rate improved from 87 per cent in 2018 to 90.1 per cent in 2019, according to government data, but the country suffers from a lack of high-quality Internet infrastructure in rural and remote areas.

A total of 35.3 per cent of urban households had access to fixed broadband in 2019, compared with a mere 11.7 per cent of rural households.

The rollout of 5G is a key plank in the 22 billion ringgit National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan, which the Perikatan Nasional government led by Muhyiddin has promised to maintain despite the change of government.

Muhyiddin said the government, through its Cloud First strategy, has targeted the migration of 80 per cent of public data to hybrid cloud systems by the end of next year.

“All these cloud services will allow Big Data, AI [artificial intelligence], IoT [Internet of Things] and other applications to be utilised to enhance and strengthen government services,” he said.

The premier in his speech said between 12 and 15 billion ringgit will be invested by Cloud Service Provider (CSP) companies over the next five years.

The government has so far given conditional approvals to four CSP companies – Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Telekom Malaysia – to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services, he said.

“These hyper-scale data centres, as well as hybrid cloud services, will be created to increase data storage space, thus reducing operating costs and improving analytical efficiency,” he said.



  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol