Smart Axiata, Cambodia’s leading mobile telecommunications company, yesterday hosted the first 5G live trial in Cambodia.
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The event was attended by Malaysian Ambassador Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim and Moa Chakrya, chairman of the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia.
Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt and Stjepan Udovicic, CMO, armed with a 5G-enabled mobile device from Huawei, showed how 5G connectivity – centred on Gigabit speeds, ultra-reliable low latency and massive connections – will change the user experience and unlock new applications.
“Our mission is to enrich the lives of millions of Cambodians through world-class networks and exceptional digital experiences. This is why we invest $70 to $80 million every year, primarily in network infrastructure, to improve mobile broadband connectivity across the Kingdom,” Mr Hundt said.
“Trust that we will continue to improve our existing 4.5G service while preparing for future technologies like 5G,” he said at the showcase.
Yesterday’s event highlighted Smart’s leadership in the industry, after being the first mobile telecommunications company in Cambodia to launch 4G in 2014, followed by 4G+ in 2016, 4G+ with HD Voice (VoLTE) in 2017 and 4.5G later that same year.
The 5G live trial showcased an array of future possibilities that could shape society by transforming interactions, industries and economies.
5G is expected to revolutionise the world through artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous Internet of Things, and big data analytics, among many others, Mr Stjepan said.
“Today’s examples are only the tip of the iceberg. Mobile networks with Gbps speeds will improve streaming and performance of download tasks, while ultra-low latency will improve live quality broadcasts, VR and gaming. Massive connections will be highly beneficial to address the rapidly expanding number of connected devices,” explained Mr Stjepan.
International commercial 5G launches are expected to exponentially increase towards the end of the year as more 5G-enabled devices enter the market. It is expected that the initial 5G commercial rollout in Cambodia will be focused on ‘hotspots’ in major cities.
“As exemplified through this live trial, Smart is exploring all aspects of this advanced technology and we are making sure we are ready to transition to 5G,” Mr Hundt said.
“Our industry has a unique opportunity to be one of the first in the Asean region to launch 5G and we are looking forward to working closely with the government to ensure the relevant policies are enacted,” added Mr Hundt.
Aaron Wang, CEO of Huawei Wireless Network, said the company was proud to be involved in the rapid digitalisation of Cambodia
“Today, we are going to witness a great moment in Cambodia digital history – the first 5G demo by Smart. And, of course, Huawei will continue to provide the most advanced 5G technical support to Smart,” Mr Wang said.
“Cambodia was a leader in the deployment of 4G technology in Southeast Asia, and, for 5G, I want Cambodia to be a leader again,” he said.
In April, Huawei rolled out commercial 5G services in South Korea and Switzerland, and, a month later, launched the service in the United Kingdom and Finland, Mr Wang said, adding that Spain and Italy, who will get the service this month, will be next.