Malaysian operator Celcom has claimed a significant milestone: it says it has conducted Malaysia’s first Voice-over 5G New Radio (VoNR) trial call.
According to local press reports, the call was carried out as part of a 5G demonstration project and innovation trial in Langkawi to validate Celcom end-to-end 5G voice call capability and 5G data session in parallel over a 5G standalone (SA) network.
The VoNR call was established directly within a 5G network without relying on 4G LTE technology. The next-generation voice call achievement is described by Celcom as a step towards realising the full potential of 5G for consumers and enterprises.
Malaysia is deploying 5G through Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), a single wholesale network under the Ministry of Finance. It aims to deliver 500 5G sites by the end of this year and aims to hit 80% 5G population coverage by 2024.
However, according to news website soyacincau.com, the country’s Communications and Multimedia Minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, has told reporters that his ministry will be launching Malaysia’s first 5G network on Wednesday.
He said the initial 5G rollout will cover Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya for the first year before expanding in stages to cover 36 percent of the population.
As soyacincau.com points out, local telcos have yet to introduce 5G packages and it isn’t clear whether consumers can actually start using 5G on their phones tomorrow. It suggested that this may simply be an announcement that the wholesale network is up and running ahead of consumer availability.