ASEAN 5G Q4 2022 Round-Up: Wider Industry Collaborations, Private Network, and Sustainability

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• ASEAN telcos continue to expand their industry collaborations and private network launches to explore market opportunities and monetize their 5G investment.

• Some telcos have started considering 5G green technologies to reduce their carbon emissions and enhance their solution proposition with sustainability messaging.

In Q4 2022, Indonesian telcos are entering the next phase of the 5G development with wider industry collaborations whereas Malaysian carriers have finally launched their services but still focusing on consumers (for more, please see 5G is Finally Available in Malaysia, So What’s Next for Telcos?, December 7, 2022). Meanwhile, telcos in more advanced markets are shifting gears with more advanced initiatives including private 5G networks and ESG.


Wider Partner Ecosystem to Drive Solution Co-creation

September 2022: Telkomsel and PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) implemented a 5G-enabled underground smart mining solution in the country. The solutions leverage the carrier’s private network and edge computing to enable AI-enabled surveillance, automation and remote operation, with an aim to improve work safety and productivity across PTFI operations.

November 2022: TM ONE launched ‘5G Sphere Programme’, an ecosystem that promotes solution co-creation using 5G technologies. With leading global technology players including Cisco, Huawei, and Nokia in the alliance, the program will offer Malaysian enterprises access to emerging technologies and enable them to accelerate their digital transformation through case studies, proof of concepts and commercialization.

November 2022: Indosat Ooredoo Hutchinson (IOH) and IBM announced a partnership to co-develop 5G-enabled solutions for Indonesian enterprises. The partnership includes technology development, but also go-to-market, solutions, providing minimum viable product (MVP) and commercialization.

November 2022: Singtel partners with SK Telecom to develop their metaverse businesses in Singapore and the region. Through the agreement, Singtel will leverage SK Telecom’s metaverse platform, ifland, which has been launched in 49 countries to develop new use cases in its 5G network, including virtual versions of key places and avatars of local and organizations of exclusive events for Singtel customers.

Private 5G

October 2022: Maxis launched its Mobile Private Network based on 4G and 5G technologies. The solution is positioned for critical applications, and available with three deployment options: priority access (using public network); hybrid (of private and public network), and dedicated (fully private).

November 2022: AIS Thailand, Huawei, Siam Cement Group (SCG), Yutong (an EV operator), and Waytous (an industrial wireless vehicle system developer) announced a collaboration to co-develop autonomous vehicle systems for industrial zones running on private 5G networks. The systems will be deployed at SCG plants to enable remote operations and increase workplace safety.

November 2022: dtac Thailand launched a 5G mobile private network solution to transform the supply chain industry including businesses in retail, manufacturing, and logistics verticals in the country. The solution is based on AWS services, 26GHz frequency band and dedicated 5G core systems. Three early use cases are offered, namely robotics automation, predictive maintenance, and video analytics.

Increasing Focus on Green 5G Tech

October 2022: Singtel announced the deployment of Ericsson AIR 3268, energy-efficient radio solutions to its 5G network as part of its ongoing sustainability initiatives. The solutions are expected to reduce energy consumption by up to 18% through real-time channel estimation and precise beamforming to further eliminate interference.

October 2022: XL Axiata and Huawei announced a joint innovation to develop ‘5G City’ to drive smart city deployments in Bandung and Bali, Indonesia through 5G networks. The collaboration will focus on using low-power 5G with simplified site solutions, multi-antenna radio modules and cost-effective rural network solutions for islands.

November 2022: IOH implemented green technology in its 5G network using Huawei’s 3.5GHz All-in-One module which offers higher capacity with smaller footprints and simplified site solutions. IOH also shared that it has successfully reduced its energy consumption by up to 25% using the technology in a prior test.

Conclusion

ASEAN telcos continue to build enterprise 5G capabilities and strengthen their market positions through collaborations with ecosystem and industry players. As 5G SA and other features such as network slicing become more widely available across their network, they are also starting to develop more advanced solutions such as private 5G networks. Besides, telcos are also increasingly leveraging 5G green technologies to reduce their GHG Scope 2 emissions, but also help enterprises achieve their sustainability goals. In 2022, as 5G matures and the case for the technology gets clearer to enterprises, service providers should focus on commercializing early use cases and continue to expand industry collaborations with players to explore new applications.

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