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U Mobile to move forward with 5G initiatives in healthcare, tourism, e-sports

19 Jan 2020 / 18:12 H.

LANGKAWI: Healthcare, tourism and e-sports are among several sectors that will see a transformation once Malaysia’s internet service moves into the 5G spectrum.

U Mobile Sdn Bhd, one of five telecommunication services providers (telcos) leading the charge into 5G, is focusing on these three sectors in the race.

The telcos have been putting their many initiatives to the test under the 5G network spectrum on Langkawi for several months already.

Together, the five telcos are conducting 35 tests in six industries across 25 “live” sites on this island resort.

U Mobile has teamed up with China’s telco equipment manufacturer ZTE Malaysia Corporation Sdn Bhd to transform healthcare, tourism and e-sports.

Apart from ZTE, it is also collaborating with Taiwan’s HTC Vive, an e-sport producer, as well as local medical start-ups Medcom and DoctorOnCall to enhance its 5G network.

U Mobile chief technology officer Woon Ooi Yuen said the initial outcome had been encouraging. “All signs show that some of the capabilities can be commercialised within this year,” he told theSun.

Medcom has introduced a 5G-enabled tele-medicine device that enables specialists to lend their expertise through their smartphones.

This will enable doctors at hospitals to link up remotely with the right specialists, such as paediatric cardiologist or ear, nose and throat specialist when examining their patients.

Medcom chief executive officer Yuwaraj Kumar Balakrishnan said that with the technology, the specialist could view the vital readings and see “live” videos of a patient to enable him to make a proper assessment.

The capability of the device was clearly demonstrated at the Sultanah Maliha Hospital here last week when a paediatric cardiologist managed to help save a child with a heart ailment, according to its emergency head Dr Roshidah Rosman.

With DoctorOnCall, a booth called DOCpod has been developed to enable patients to consult with a general practitioner through a video link and have his heart rate, blood pressure and sugar levels recorded.

Any patient with a serious condition can then be referred to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, the doctor can give some advice and a prescription, and the medication can be delivered to the patient within a few hours.

DoctorOnCall co-founder and managing director Maran Virumandi said the DOCpod is ready to be rolled out in the rural areas where it is more difficult to find a doctor.

The doctor to patient ratio is one to 350 people in the Klang Valley but in Kelantan it is 900 people to a doctor and in Sabah it is 1,200 persons to one doctor.

Another U Mobile initiative is the virtual tourism capability that enables tourists to stream and experience intended destinations such as Langkawi to help them plan their holidays.

E-sports is another development that enables gamers to experience high resolution and high quality images.

The fixed wireless access enables network operators to deliver high internet speed with the need for a fibre broadband.

The 5G demonstration projects in Langkawi, is to facilitate, develop and foster the potential development of 5G capability.

Apart from that, six states - Kedah, Penang, Perak, Terengganu, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur - have been chosen as demonstration sites to test the ultra-fast communications network for healthcare, manufacturing, tourism and smart city applications.

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