RM15b investment over 10-year period for 5G tech implementation

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Cloud service providers to invest up to RM15 billion under the Digital Economy Blueprint.

The government will roll out 5G infrastructure and technology services from the end of this year, said the Prime Minister, adding that RM15 billion will be invested in 5G implementation projects nationwide over the next 10 years.

A total of RM15 billion will be invested over a period of 10 years for the implementation of 5G technology throughout the country.

The multi-billion investment is among four important types of digital infrastructure initiatives outlined by the government under the MyDigital — the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint – to accelerate innovation and create an effective digital ecosystem in the country.

At the virtual launching ceremony of the MyDigital today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said such efforts that would be carried out by a special purpose vehicle under the government and is expected to create some 105,000 employment opportunities.

He said all licenced telecommunication companies will have equal access to this infrastructure, in marketing their 5G services to their respective customers.

“Just imagine – this 5G technology will serve as a game-changer, as more smart services with direct impact will be made available for the well-being of the people.

“This 5G technology not only promises better and faster Internet access, but more importantly, it also enables various important applications to be in the hands of end-users, including health monitoring applications for chronic patients, smart emergency assistance, and special applications for senior citizens who are living alone,” he said during the launch of the MyDigital & the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint today.

He said the government will begin rolling out 5G infrastructure and technology services from the end of 2021 and a total RM15 billion will be invested in 5G implementation projects nationwide over the next 10 years.

“With this, Malaysia will be one of the first few countries in the region to build a 5G ecosystem using the internet and cloud services in real-time, to enable immediate sharing of information,” he said in identifying the important digital infrastructure under the initiative which needs to be established first.

The others are investing RM21 billion over the next five years through the National Digital Network or Jendela programme to strengthen the existing connectivity.

This will see a fixed-line optical fibre network covering nine million premises by the end of 2025.

A total of RM1.65 billion, Muhyiddin said, will also be invested by several telecommunication companies to strengthen connectivity to the international submarine cable network until the year 2023.

He said this will open up more space for faster and more stable international data transfer, thus lowering internet costs to consumers in Malaysia.

Muhyiddin also said that between RM12bil and RM15bil will be invested by Cloud Service Provider (CSP) companies over the next five years.

He said that 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.

“This 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.

He added that the government has also proposed the appointment of three local ICT companies as Manage Service Providers (MSP) to work with CSPs to manage their services to agencies in the public sector.

This is in line with the government’s intentions to strengthen the capabilities of local companies, he said.

The three companies are Enfrasys Solution Sdn Bhd, Prestariang Systems Sdn Bhd and Cloud Connect Sdn Bhd.

“As part of the measures to empower cloud computing services in the public sector, the government, through its ‘Cloud First’ strategy, has targeted the migration of 80 percent of public data to hybrid cloud systems by the end of 2022.

“In addition, for a more effective and smooth data collection and management, this strategy also helps to reduce government costs in information technology management in the long run.

“All these cloud services will allow big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of things and other applications to be utilised to enhance and strengthen government services,” he added.

Communications and multimedia minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the rolling out of 5G by the end of this year was a significant development as the government had initially planned to implement 5G technology only in 2022.

“If we follow the Jendela plan, it was not supposed to be announced today. It would have been announced, maybe, on this day next year. We have done quite well in facilitating the rollout of 5G, a year ahead of our plans,” he said at a press conference after the launch.

He added that the government had been working hard to obtain investments to ensure the success of the plan.