Fahmi promises 5G with added features by end March

Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil says 5G will assist companies in receiving fast and efficient communication services, which can help improve productivity. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 25, 2023.

THE Ministry of Communications and Digital is expected to announce the introduction of 5G by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) with added features by end of March.

Minister Fahmi Fadzil said DNB is evaluating the available options to ensure 80% coverage, plus expansion throughout the country.

“We want to make sure there will be no negative effect on the nation’s finances and we hope by 2025, there will be at least 80% coverage in populated areas,” he said last night.

Fahmi said the implementation of 5G was to assist companies in receiving fast and efficient communication services because it can help improve productivity.

“I have seen how 5G is being used by local governments to assist in issues of traffic, since data reaches the centre that manages the administration of traffic lights more efficiently and we can monitor the condition of the entire city in real time.

“5G offers added benefits, especially to factories, oil rigs (to communicate faster and more efficiently and to send big volumes of data and machine learning,” he said.

Meanwhile, referring to issues of personal security and online scams, Fahmi said the ministry will make its personal data protection department a statutory body.

He said the agency will need to be strengthened to serve more effectively in issues of personal data leakage.

“For example, if I issue a cash cheque, the bank will call for confirmation… that is the process, the same process applies for the security of personal data, and the government agency related to personal data must automatically make known the source of the leak. This aspect is being studied,” he said.

Fahmi added that current laws need to be enhanced, as do the structure or policy, to deal with online scams because currently at least four ministries oversee this area.

Fahmi said the ministry will also look at improving the current laws and upgrade the standard of the CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) agency to the Malaysian Cybersecurity Commission because CSM has the expertise in this area and its forensic services are the best in the Asia Pacific region.

“We must work on forming a commission so that it can be given the powers to carry out investigations and enforcement,” he said.

Meanwhile, regarding the KPI for the Communications and Digital Ministry, Fahmi said internet access and telecommunications problems faced by the people are the main issues that will be given attention.

He said the ministry had announced price reductions for prepaid mobile internet through the unity package, which will be implemented next month and later expanded to fixed broadband service.

In addition, the issue of dropped calls due to unstable connections is being scrutinised, as is extending 4G coverage to the last 3% of the population.

“For this 3%, I have told all telcos and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) that we must find ways to solve this. Use satellites and universal service provision,” he said. – Bernama, January 25, 2023.

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