Malaysia announced eight companies committed an initial investment of MYR116 million ($27.7 million) to run 5G trials, which will kick off in October and run for six months.

With the goal of accelerating the deployment of 5G for businesses across various industries, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said 32 5G sites across six states will demonstrate 55 use cases involving nine verticals: agriculture; education; entertainment and media; digital healthcare; manufacturing and processing; oil and gas; smart cities; smart transportation; and tourism.

Ishak said the projects will focus on cultivating the development of “a holistic and inclusive 5G ecosystem in pursuit of stimulating demand as well as adoption” of 5G technology for businesses and consumers.

“We hope to commercialise some of the use cases beginning third quarter of 2020,” he said.

Ishak added that the support and investment from the participating companies “reiterates the industry’s commitment in establishing a strong use for viable 5G applications that will transform various industries as well as impact positively the living standards of Malaysians”.

MCMC aims to attract additional investment for 5G development as well as proposals to enhance connectivity in the other states.

The country’s largest mobile operators – Digi and Maxis – last week detailed plans to increase infrastructure sharing to prepare for 5G, as they begin field trials and raise capex to support the new technology.

Maxis has a 27 per cent share of mobile subscribers in the country, while Digi holds a 26 per cent share, ahead of Celcom Axiata’s 22 per cent, Q2 data from GSMA Intelligence showed.