Ericsson and Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) recently conducted a 5G technology showcase, paving the way for the delivery of a host of next-gen digital business, industrial, and public service applications in areas covered by 5G, including Sarawak.
The showcase was made possible by utilising the ultrafast, secure and reliable connectivity with extended coverage made possible by 5G Standalone, Carrier Aggregation and Network Slicing technology. This maximized the use of available 5G spectrum, with DNB combining multiple spectrum bands via Carrier Aggregation technology using the 700 Mhz low band, 3.5 Ghz mid-band and the 28 GHz millimetre wave (mmWave).
The showcase was a lesson delivered by senior lecturer Dr. Syafiqah Saidin from the UTM-Ericsson IC5G (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia-Ericsson Innovation Centre for 5G) in Kuala Lumpur, to a group of students some 1,400km away in Curtin University, Miri. Both the lecturer and students interacted with each other using AR/VR headsets.
Utilizing the ultrafast speeds made possible by Carrier Aggregation and Network Slicing technology Dr. Syafiqah was able to remotely deliver a high-quality, real-time, and interactive lesson in a custom-built Metaverse environment.
Having combined 5G spectrum to create this “connectivity pipeline” for Curtin University, DNB and its Network Equipment Provider, Ericsson, were able to deliver bandwidth of up to 7 Gbps to Curtin University Malaysia, Miri. A portion of this connectivity pipeline was then subdivided using a technique known as “network slicing”. This allowed DNB to carve out and dedicate a portion of the above for the exclusive use of the technology showcase.
Present at the showcase were Deputy Minister for Utility and Telecommunication Sarawak Yang Berhormat Datuk Liwan Lagang, DNB Chief Operating Officer Nasution Mohamed, Head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh David Hägerbro and Acting Chief Operating Officer of Curtin University Malaysia, Associate Professor Ir. Pieter Willem Pottas.
Head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, David Hägerbro also commended the demonstration as a strong example of the world-class 5G network that Ericsson is delivering to DNB and the possibilities it opens in Malaysia.
“Ericsson’s 5G expertise and technology enables DNB to provide connectivity to schools, hospitals and businesses located in historically underserved areas, where it would not have been cost-effective to provide wired connectivity. We believe the technologies demonstrated here today will pave the way for bridging the digital divide, accelerate Malaysia’s digital economy aspirations, as well as equip it with the advantage to leapfrog ahead in the region. I would like to thank Curtin University and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for their support in showing how this can happen.”
Acting Chief Operating Officer of Curtin University Malaysia, Associate Professor Ir. Pieter Willem Pottas, who was among the senior staff of the university attending the event, commended the successful technology demonstration. “Today’s demonstration is of great interest to use at Curtin University Malaysia as Curtin University’s largest global campus and hub in ASEAN. One of our key research focus areas is digital innovation, and digital technology is extensively used in our teaching and learning. These technologies will help us significantly extend our education and research footprint in the region.”
The director of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Higher Institution Centres of Excellence (HICoE) Wireless Communication Centre, Associate Professor Dr Norhudah Seman said, “With the reliable data connectivity and capacity enabled by 5G, educators are able to innovate solutions to deliver engineering education in a more interactive and immersive approach. We are able to bring real-world issues and case studies to the classroom through mixed reality, improving students’ understanding of the subject matter, and pushing their creativity in problem-solving to the next level.”
Also in attendance was Guest of Honour, Yang Berhormat Datuk Liwan Lagang, Deputy Minister for Utility and Telecommunication Sarawak, who commented on expanding these technologies throughout the state for the benefit of Sarawakians.
“Ultrafast 5G speeds must be made relevant to end users. This demonstration shows how 5G connectivity can negate vast distances between teacher and student to deliver high quality, real-time and interactive distance learning in a Metaverse classroom with AR/VR hardware.
“It is my hope that next-gen education applications like the sort we witnessed at Curtin University is soon followed by other groundbreaking use cases in Sarawak. I am intrigued by the prospect of applying these technologies in key Sarawakian industries. Given Miri’s rich history in the energy sector, 5G connectivity could be the catalyst to transform the industry with a host of intelligent, 5G-enabled use cases.”