Ericsson and DNB 5G rollout to expedite digitalisation and foster inclusive development
ERICSSON has reiterated its commitment to support Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) in delivering a world-class network that will become a 5G showcase in the region, while expressing satisfaction with the pace of rollout in Malaysia.
The 5G rollout in the country is already one of the fastest in the world – with the network available within six months of the contract being awarded to Ericsson.
During his recent visit to Malaysia, Ericsson chief executive officer Borje Ekholm said: “The government’s efforts to drive 5G forward and the supportive developments from the mobile network operators (MNOs) augur well for the nation’s digital aspirations and improving connectivity for end-users,” adding that Ericsson is on track to roll out approximately 80% 5G coverage in populated areas of Malaysia by the end of 2024.
Based on its global supply operations, Ericsson is ensuring fast and consistent supplies of its advanced, world-class products so that it can enable rapid deployment of 5G networks for DNB in Malaysia.
“Malaysia is an important market for Ericsson, and we have already started 5G radio production here, which will be further expanded this year,” said Ekholm.
With 125 live networks in 55 countries, Ericsson is already at the forefront of 5G around the world and is recognised as an industry leader, having recently topped the Frost Radar: Global 5G Network Infrastructure Market ranking for the second year in a row.
The company was also named a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers report by Gartner.
“Our global 5G and technology leadership is based on our consistent and growing investments in R&D, with more than a quarter of our global workforce now working in R&D,” said Ekholm.
Ericsson invests more than 18% of its global revenue into R&D and holds the leading patent portfolio in the industry, with more than 60,000 granted patents worldwide. It is also the holder of most 5G essential patents.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the company has already achieved several technical milestones in its 5G network deployment in Malaysia.
Ericsson’s world-first application of Dynamic Radio Resource Partitioning technology, on DNB’s 5G Network, enables all six MNOs to deliver customised 5G services with guaranteed performance. This innovation also allows each MNO to differentiate its offering to consumers on the shared 5G network.
Ericsson and DNB recently demonstrated the nation’s first voice over new radio (VoNR) call on the live 5G network, which will be an enabler of next-generation, immersive applications that combine fast speeds and high-definition audio.
Malaysian 5G ecosystem
Even as the company demonstrates its technology prowess through these milestones, it is also working towards building the 5G ecosystem in the country.
Ericsson is collaborating with DNB and the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI), using 5G to accelerate the development of innovation clusters on campus.
This will support local start-ups and technopreneurs with 5G development and readiness, leading to development of exciting use cases that will accelerate 5G adoption in the country.
Ericsson, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and DNB are also collaborating to help educate Malaysian students on 5G and other emerging technologies.
The collaboration is expected to reach up to 1,200 students in the first year alone and will enable UTM students to participate and contribute to the country’s digital economy and Industry 4.0 transformation.
In fact, Malaysia’s first innovation centRE to research and test 5G technology was set up by Ericsson at UTM in 2016.
Ericsson’s commitments in Malaysia have grown considerably in recent times.
It has commissioned a new facility at the Kl International Airport (KLIA) that is expanding its regional distribution capacity and the strategic role Malaysia is playing in the company’s ability to support the smooth operations of customer networks in the Asia Pacific region.
Catering to more than 20 countries, the Ericsson distribution centre in Malaysia is responsible for the management of hardware inventory and spare parts across the region.
The new distribution facility complements the existing maintenance and support centre in Malaysia, thereby allowing Ericsson to improve delivery of support services to customers.
“Our 5G manufacturing and rollout, coupled with the setup of the new distribution facility, is creating both direct and indirect employment opportunities for Malaysians.
“We are also working towards strengthening the local vendor ecosystem as we expand our 5G network in the country,” said Ekholm.
Approximately 90% of overall spending by Ericsson for services for the 5G network project is allocated to Malaysian companies.
Noting that 5G is emerging as the greatest open innovation platform ever, Ekholm firmly believes that, thanks to its speed, ultra-low latency, larger network capacity, plus improved security and more reliability, it will accelerate the digital transformation of Malaysia and enable the country to embrace Industry 4.0.
“The pandemic accelerated digitalisation confirmed the criticality of digital infrastructure and further redefined our relationship to work, education and each other.
“During 2021, governments around the world continued to make wireless infrastructure the cornerstone of their pandemic recovery and economic growth plans.”
Bridging digital divide
As Malaysia moves into a post-pandemic economic recovery period, 5G will have a crucial role to play, particularly as new 5G enterprise use cases emerge.
In fact, according to the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, 5G will contribute RM8.5bil to Malaysia’s GDP by 2025, hence the importance of rolling out the network as quickly as possible and leveraging the benefits of the new technology.
5G will help bridge the digital divide in Malaysia and, with enabling technology such as fixed wireless access, allow consumers living in suburban and rural parts to get a broadband connection to their home, as an efficient, convenient and competitive alternative to fibre.
“The 5G rollout by DNB and Ericsson will provide Malaysia with the ability to leapfrog ahead in the region and enable the country to achieve its objectives of transforming into a digital economy.
“5G will undoubtedly digitalise Malaysian society and foster inclusive development of the country.
“With 5G, limitless possibilities lie ahead,” said Ekholm.