AIBP Insights Philippines: A Regional Telco Discussion on Enterprise 5G Applications

Yesterday, AIBP Insights Philippines had the opportunity to hold a regional telco discussion focusing on Enterprise 5G applications. There was a lot to learn from the telco operators and stakeholders in the region.

Singapore is largely expected to be an early adopter of 5G and Sebastian Tan, Head, 5G Solutions Task Force, Enterprise Business Group of StarHub gave an overview of the developments within the space in Singapore. He shared that Starhub has started implementing 5G since 2017 by engaging with various government agencies and enterprises in Singapore.

Jacob Groote, EVP 5G of KPN, who was kind enough to dial in so early from the Netherlands, spoke about 5G implementation by KPN in Netherlands and gave examples about applications being used within the agricultural, automotive and energy sectors. He gave several examples of how an energy company used 5G to improve labour productivity by using virtual reality both for maintenance and training purposes.

Peter Maquera, Senior Vice President for Enterprise Group of Globe Telecom talked about test cases and POCs of Globe Telecom in the Philippines. They implemented 5G a year ago with consumer products like home broadband and gaming. It seems like the initial demand for 5G in Philippines will be driven by consumers, but several enterprises are already embarking on POCs which will fundamentally change the way they do business. In a broader sense, it seems that Filipino enterprises have been quite receptive to 5G for applications within intelligent campuses, manufacturing facilities and logistics.

Reinhard Klocker, Senior Advisor for Strategic Projects from PT&T agreed with Peter with regards to the challenges they are facing in the Philippines. Most importantly, they need support from the regulators to increase the frequency band to provide different services.

Ian Watson, Chief Executive Officer of Cellcard introduced Cambodia and how Cellcard (both as a telco and an ICT solution provider) contributes to the Cambodian economy. He sees a lot of benefits in using 5G for the agricultural sector especially in rural areas. Cellcard is working closely with the Cambodian Government to drive digitalization and 5G for the country and they expect to aggressively roll out 5G by next year in the main cities and 4G in rural areas.

Mr. Tan, General Director of Viettel presented Viettel as the first telco in Vietnam which launched 5G in May last year. He discussed the difficulty in merging the ecosystems while generating profit due to the high costs of investment.

Hendra Sumiarsa, Head IoT & Digital Enterprise from Smartfren Telecom shared that Indonesia operators have been conducting several 5G trial since 2017, whereby smartfren itself running a successful trial for smart factory in 2019. He emphasized that Indonesia government sees 5G as vital tools for Indonesia to progress as it would help with the building of digital infrastructure and accelerate Making Indonesia 4.0 achievement. It also assists with developing ICT service in 5 super premium tourism destination as well as preparing new capital within new 10 metropolitan

Jennifer Chang, Sales Director from Compal talked about the ecosystem partners and how they work to transform their partner products by using Compal’s module to enable/upgrade from 4G to 5G. Not only do they assist with the consumer electronics sector, Compal also collaborates with various partners in the agricultural and manufacturing/industrial sectors. Interestingly, Compal looks to provide total solutions from 5G connectivity to AR/VR in order to help facilitate and solve problems in every industry. She also depicted a case study where using 5G in factories could help to improve the efficiency of downloading tools at the production line as well as monitoring AGV automotive to relocate inventory onsite by managing the status real time. It’s interesting that the case studies she brought up were actual projects which Compal had implemented for their own factories in Taiwan. The Taiwanese government has spent USD 4.6 Billion in the 5G spectrum as it looks to go commercial from July 2020.

It does seem that the telcos in the region are fairly optimistic with the rollout of 5G infrastructure, but the point raised by Mr. Tan of Viettel is very relevant and remains to be answered:

1.    How will the telcos, and their partner ecosystem, be able to build solutions around 5G infrastructure which will enable it to be used to drive Industry 4.0 in the ASEAN markets? From a telco perspective, how do they recoup capex investments of building out 5G infrastructure?

2.    How willing are enterprises to adopt and spend on, these applications? Preliminary data from our AIBP ASEAN Enterprise Digitalisation Survey show that:

·      88% of enterprises in Philippines & Malaysia are still in the early stages of understanding the potential of industry-specific 5G applications

·      75% of them believe that 5G will have a lasting impact on their industry

·      89% of them are concerned with the potentially high costs involved with the implementation of 5G solutions in the near term

Solution providers can and should address, these concerns when engaging enterprises in ASEAN markets.

We will also be hosting similar discussions focusing on enterprise digitalisation in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam over the next few weeks. Feel free to register your interest if you’re keen to participate.


Asia IoT Business Platform

16 October 2020

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