KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 (Bernama) — The fifth-generation network (5G) is an enabler for the emergence of smart cities in Malaysia, said an academician.
A lecturer at the School of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Associate Professor Dr Leow Chee Yen (picture) said smart city basic building blocks consist of good infrastructure equipped with an advanced comprehensive network infrastructure embedded in 5G technology among others.
“A smart city utilises the current and emerging technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and others, with the aim to increase city wide operations and services efficiency, improve economic activities productivity and to provide service improvement to residents, without disregarding environmental effects and keeping sustainability in mind,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.
Leow said smart city would digitise public service, which interconnects government departments, enabling local council services efficient delivery to the public, while providing a reactive and responsive public safety mechanism to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.
“Through the connectivity and sensors deployed throughout the city, authorities can make use of the big data and the analytics gathered and would be able to predict future occurrences, for example, the city’s growth, traffic or population and the environmental aspects, such as weather conditions and also the air pollution index,” he said.
Through these data collection, Leow said AI would recognise the patterns to predict possible disaster, for example flash flood incidents in certain areas of the city and also solve traffic congestion issues, while reducing carbon footprint or co2 emission from vehicles to the environment.
Leow said, economically, the setting up of a smart city would also entice foreign direct investments as investors can expand satellite offices which in turn creates job opportunities.
“Education and healthcare sectors digitalisation will provide residents with equal opportunities in quality education and healthcare services throughout the city. Ultimately residents will be able to improve their lives through 5G enabled smart cities,” he said.
Leow, who has accumulated more than 400 hours as professional trainer on 4G and 5G technologies doused common public misconceptions that 5G is just a faster version of 4G, in fact 5G can do much more especially in being capable to connect machines and IoT devices.
He said other than 5G which improves 4G in all aspects, it also supports new functionalities and features which 4G could not, such as mission critical autonomous vehicles support and drone applications which require stringent latency as well as a highly reliable network.
“On top of enhancing the broadband, as well as making the connection at least 20 times faster, 5G also supports IoT devices with the ability to connect one million connections per square kilometre area.
“5G doesn’t only benefit those staying in big cities, but also suburban and rural areas which coincides with the government’s vision to provide world class connectivity for citizens and help Malaysia to become a high-tech, high-income nation,” he said.