DNB and Ericsson launch 5G academic programme in Malaysia

Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) and Ericsson have launched a free online program on digital technologies and 5G for all students at the post-secondary level in Malaysia.

The initiative, dubbed “MY5G Ericsson Malaysia Pioneers Program”, is seen as a step towards the realization of a 5G-enabled technology ecosystem in Malaysia.

This program is the first customized learning course on 5G and digital technologies offered by Ericsson at a nationwide level, the company said. The program will deliver 42 hours of learning content that is designed to raise digital skills, knowledge and awareness of emerging technologies.

It consists of three modules focused on the details of technological functionality and applications of digital services. Ericsson said that students will be asked to develop a solution from ideation and theoretical prototyping, to a fully formed sales pitch for a fictional potential buyer.

The Swedish vendor also said that students are also provided with an opportunity to creatively address actual problems within various Malaysian industries and sectors by discovering, analyzing and developing AI-powered digital solutions.

“The fast-expanding national 5G network will be a major equalizer, enabling new digital and employment opportunities throughout urban and rural areas and helping to bridge the digital divide. The only way forward for our nation's economy is to nurture and up our game in terms of creativity and innovation,” said Ahmad Helmi Bin Azhar, MY5G Ericsson Malaysia Pioneers program director at DNB. “Our education system must be future-proof in a way that our schools become the essential incubators where young talent is exposed to future technologies and applications. As we continue to accelerate the deployment of the national 5G network, we are also laying down the foundation for the digital economy and helping drive digital literacy in Malaysia.”

“We are proud to contribute to the development of the 5G ecosystem by launching this course nationwide to all students at the tertiary level. We are pleased to equip the country's future workforce and leaders with the skills they need to thrive and lead in a 5G-driven economy, while we work hand in hand with DNB to create a world-class 5G infrastructure for Malaysia,” said Ellen Alarilla, sustainability and corporate responsibility program manager for Ericsson in Southeast Asia, Oceania and India.

Digital Nasional Berhad is a special-purpose vehicle set up by the Malaysian government with the main goal of deploying and managing Malaysia's 5G network.

DNB had recently announced that its 5G network has achieved almost 50% coverage of populated areas with some 3,900 sites at the end of 2022. The telco said it has exceeded its 5G coverage target of 40% for the full-year 2022.

DNB said it is now focused on delivering the committed target of 80% of the country's populated areas by the end of 2024. The company's 5G network currently reaches some 15 million people and will reach 30 million once fully deployed.

Last month, Malaysia's newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced that his administration will review a plan under which the previous government decided to move forward with the creation of a state-owned 5G network. The new prime minister said that these plans will be revised due to the lack of transparency.

Last year, former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had unveiled an initiative for a state-owned vehicle to own all 5G spectrum, with various carriers using the infrastructure to provide mobile services across Malaysia in what would effectively be a wholesale/MVNO arrangement.

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