ASEAN 5G Q4 2021 Round-Up: Stronger Momentum in Vertical Collaborations

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Advanced telcos in ASEAN expanded their vertical collaborations and entered the trial and pre-commercialization stages of enterprise 5G applications while others started to form alliances with domestic players to co-create new solutions.

• Smart manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, and robotics are leading the enterprise 5G development in ASEAN, in line with the global trends.

Q3 2021 was about telcos moving from the network deployment to solution development stages (for more, please see ASEAN 5G Q3 2021 Roundup: Competition Heats Up, October 7, 2021). Moving into Q4 2021, telcos moved to the next development stage through wider collaborations with technology providers (e.g., network vendors, cloud providers) and other industry players to co-develop and trial new enterprise 5G solutions. While most telcos are still in the application development stages, providers such as AIS Thailand and Singtel Singapore are already in the field trial and pre-commercialization phases. In line with the global trends, applications like smart manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, and robotics are leading the enterprise 5G development. This is driven by tangible use cases such as improving operational efficiency and remote operation during the pandemic as well as wider involvement by players in the industry such as ABB, Bosch, Mitsubishi Electric, and Proton.

1. October 2021: Singtel’s wider vertical 5G alliance and public sector trial in Sentosa: Singtel maintained its momentum to drive the enterprise 5G development through a partnership with Ericsson on collaborations with global vertical players across multiple industries including ABB, Axis Communications, Bosch, DHL, Hexagon, and PTC. The initiative enables enterprises to explore new solutions leveraging Singtel’s 5G network and edge computing capabilities, with several ongoing trials including smart manufacturing with ABB. Further, Singtel also announced another trial in Sentosa in collaboration with government agencies such as the Building and Construction Authority and National Environment Agency. The trial covers new use cases such as robots for remote tracking of construction progress and autonomous environment service vehicles for road-sweeping.

2. October 2021 PLDT extended its IoT capabilities to support 5G with Nokia WING: PLDT launched a Smart IoT Platform leveraging Nokia WING. The new platform offers various new features tailored for domestic businesses such as enhanced security, analytics, and application development; real-time control and monitoring; and flexible pricing models. Further, the platform also supports 5G use cases for low latency, high bandwidth, or high-security applications. The new platform offers a competitive advantage to PLDT against its rival, but also drives the adoption of IoT and promotes the development of new 5G use cases in the country. For more, please see PLDT Digicon 2021: A New IoT Platform that Packs Various Features Tailored for Local Needs, October 7, 2021.

3. November 2021: AIS showcased its capabilities at its 5G event: AIS has been one of the most advanced enterprise 5G providers in ASEAN. At its “5G for Business is Now” virtual event held in November, AIS showcased its comprehensive capabilities of the technology. Through a wide partner ecosystem, AIS has developed and offered a range of horizontal and vertical applications across different industries. Horizontal applications include mixed reality, robotics, and remote supervision while vertical solutions cover smart manufacturing, smart logistics, smart agriculture, and smart healthcare. AIS also partners with TCS to develop and deliver end-to-end 5G enabled IoT solutions. Further, AIS has also deployed 5G SA and developed edge computing and private networking solutions to enable next-gen applications. While the enterprise 5G in ASEAN is still a supply-driven market and the awareness is still low, AIS initiatives are expected to accelerate the adoption in the country and set a benchmark in the region.

4. November & December 2021: 5G launch and telco partnerships in Malaysia: 5G in Malaysia has finally entered the commercial phase with services offered by tier-2 mobile operators such as Yes and TM while leading players like Celcom, Digi, and Maxis have yet agreed to use the single wholesale network (SWN). Nevertheless, Celcom and Maxis continued with their 5G development initiatives through partnerships with major industry players. Celcom partners with PLUS (a highway operator) and Vale (a mining company) to co-develop 5G-enabled fleet management and autonomous vehicles while Maxis collaborates with Proton (a local automotive manufacturer) to work on several use cases to enhance Proton’s manufacturing operation.

Related reports:

1. 2022 Predictions for the Enterprise: Edge Computing Business Models Advance and Sharpen Vertical Focus , December 8, 2021.
2. ASEAN 5G Q2 2021 Roundup: Wider Industry Collaborations Driving Enterprise 5G Ecosystem, July 9, 2021.
3. ASEAN 5G Q1 2021 Roundup: More Edge Computing and Private Network Developments , April 13, 2021.

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