ASEAN 5G Q2 2021 Roundup: Wider Industry Collaborations Driving Enterprise 5G Ecosystem

Alfie Amir
A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Indonesian telcos have launched 5G networks, while a Malaysian provider has detailed its deployment plan from this year until 2024. In more mature markets, telcos continue to expand their coverage and enterprise capabilities through new partnerships and collaboration initiatives.
  • 5G adoption has been revised slightly upward, driven by new launches and deployment commitments and wider industry collaborations.

Key Enterprise 5G Developments

April 2021 – Singtel Launches GENIE 5G-in-a-Box to Drive 5G Solution Development in Singapore: With 5G Garage and partnerships with AWS and Azure on 5G edge computing, Singtel is taking a further step with its 5G-in-a-box solution to accelerate enterprise 5G development in the country.  The portable and modular solution enables enterprises and device manufacturers to test and experience 5G networking as well as develop new applications anywhere with the need to join Singtel in its testing facilities.  Singtel also recently announced a Melbourne-based innovation center to focus on AI, cloud, and 5G solutions as part of its new enterprise strategy.  This could benefit its telco associates in the region such as AIS, Globe, and Telkomsel in driving the ecosystem and developing new 5G solutions in their respective countries.  (For more, please see Singtel and Ericsson’s GENIE 5G-in-a-Box Will Drive 5G Solution Development in Singapore,” April 13, 2021; and Singtel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places,” May 31, 2021.

April 2021 – Globe Partners with HPE to Offer 5G MEC Trials in the Philippines: The partnership drives 5G and edge computing development in the country through the Globe Edge Incubation Lab, which promotes collaboration with industry players to co-create new applications.  Furthermore, the HPE GreenLake pay-as-you-grow subscription model can enable Globe to attract a wide range of enterprises with a lower barrier of entry.  This will also provide Globe with a first-mover advantage and an edge in the market.  For more, please see: Globe Partners with HPE to Offer 5G MEC Trials in the Philippines,” April 15, 2021.

April 2021 – Celcom Collaborates with Huawei and CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) to Drive 5G Security Development: While 5G networks will be implemented by a government-owned entity (DNB), telcos like Celcom continue to drive their initiatives to expand their capabilities in preparation for the commercial launch later this year.  The partnership with CSM enables Celcom to strengthen its cybersecurity capabilities and proposition in addressing one of the biggest concerns with 5G, especially in highly regulated verticals such as the public sector, BFSI, energy, and manufacturing.  The initiative also includes a test lab that can drive ecosystem development through collaborations with enterprises and other technology players to co-create solutions tailored for enterprises’ ICT and cybersecurity needs.  For more, please see Celcom Collaborates with Huawei and CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) to Drive 5G Security Development,” April 1, 2021.

May 2021 – AIS Partners with ZTE and Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) to Develop 5G Smart Factory Use Cases: AIS is leading the Thai enterprise 5G market with various initiatives across different verticals.  Following its partnership with Bosch to use 5G in smart manufacturing applications last year, AIS continues to expand its capabilities in the vertical with a partnership with ZTE and SUT to develop 5G-based smart factory use cases including automated guided vehicles (AGVs), inspection patrol robots, robotic arms, AR in remote guidance, and VR for monitoring. The initiative can drive the enterprise 5G ecosystem and adoption in manufacturing, which is one of the country’s largest sectors.

May and June 2021 – Telkomsel and Indosat Ooredoo Launched 5G Networks in Indonesia: While the initial focus is on the mass market, the launch will open up various opportunities in the enterprise segment from connectivity-based services such as FWA and mobile branch solutions to vertical solutions.  With global hyperscalers’ strong presence in the country, collaborations between telcos, cloud providers, and enterprises are also expected to take place in the short to midterm to co-create and explore new 5G solutions across different verticals.

Market Outlook

The last quarter saw several key 5G developments in ASEAN, including network launches by Telkomsel and Indosat Ooredoo in Indonesia and a deployment commitment by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) Malaysia through a partnership with Ericsson to cover key locations this year and 80% of the population in Malaysia by 2024.  In other mature markets such as the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, carriers are focused on expanding 5G coverage, adoption, and capabilities (e.g., SA and edge computing) as well as exploring enterprise opportunities through partnerships.  In terms of adoption, 5G subscribers are expected to grow from 0.8 million in 2020 to 200 million and account for 25% of the total mobile subscribers in 2026, as shown in Figure 1 below.  The overall adoption has been revised slightly upward compared from the previous forecast (please see ASEAN 5G Q1 2021 Roundup: More Edge Computing and Private Network Developments,” April 13, 2021).  This is driven by the new 5G services in Indonesia, the planned launch in Malaysia later this year, and aggressive coverage expansions in countries like the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.  Between segments, the market is still largely driven by the mass-consumer, while the enterprise is expected to pick up in the mid- to long-term. The availability of features such as SA 5G and network slicing and wider collaborations with industry players are expected to drive the ecosystem and further accelerate enterprise adoption of new 5G applications.

Figure 1: 5G Subscriptions in ASEAN: 2020 – 2026

5G Subscriptions in ASEAN 070921

* Countries covered: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand

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