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The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) via its wholly owned subsidiary VADS Lyfe Sdn Bhd which provides Smart City Services, have recently joined the LoRa Alliance, an open non-profit association for driving the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT). The collaboration is aimed at sharing best practises to help support the awareness, development and implementation of the LoRa protocol in Malaysia.
LoRa connectivity protocol is a new wireless wide area network technology that is specialised for interconnecting devices with low-bandwidth connectivity, focusing on long range which theoretically goes beyond 10km-20km radius and is power efficient. As an addition to the existing protocols such as bluetooth, zigbee, Wi-Fi and other existing consumer-level IoT implementations, LoRa gives greater benefits, especially for industrial, transportation, agriculture and other related sector applications. In these environments, the huge number of connected devices can only be supported if communication is efficient and power costs are low.
“MDEC as the lead ICT government agency for Malaysia will continue to drive its vision of a fully developed sustainable digital economy,” said Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC. This will be built upon a vibrant domestic ICT industry, transformative use of digital solutions by the government, businesses and citizens, as well as a robust enabling ecosystem, she added.
“As a member of the LoRa Alliance, we will actively develop new solutions for our smart services offerings through the Internet of Small Things. Drawing on TM’s vast infrastructure of network, data centre, ICT and BPO solutions, we enable integrated solutions for an increasingly connected and digital world,” said Massimo Migliuolo, Chief Executive Officer of VADS Lyfe Sdn Bhd and VADS Berhad.
As part of the National IoT Strategic Roadmap developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI) last year, MDEC has been tasked to lead IoT industry development which is aligned to the Digital Malaysia initiative. This initiative aims to drive extensive use of ICT in Malaysia by catalysing the digital innovation ecosystem and creating a vibrant digital economy. The key interest in LoRa technology is to help establish the IoT ecosystem to capture local and global demand whilst strengthening the enabling environment.
MDEC’s contributions to the LoRa Alliance would be as follows:
i.Awareness: Aligned to developing IoT as a new source of ICT growth for Malaysia, MDEC will help LoRa Alliance to create awareness nationwide and in the region;
ii.Adoption: Work with key stakeholders to derive impactful IoT implementations with LoRa technology;
iii.Assistance: Support the entry of LoRa Alliance and its members into MSC Malaysia that provides incentives for ICT companies to operate out of Malaysia as a new direct entrant to the Malaysian and South-East Asia marketplace.
As Malaysia’s No.1 Converged Communications Services Provider, TM is well positioned to be at the forefront to enable and execute LoRa technology nationwide. TM will embark on a nationwide Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) via a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) development based on the LoRa Technology. When implemented, TM will become the pioneer in this region to commercially deploy LoRa infrastructure thus creating new market opportunities for TM and other IoT businesses to leverage on.
This is in line with of TM’s IoT strategy, which includes:
i.  Plans to develop its IoT dedicated expertise, especially for smart services offerings such as smart parking, street light management, building health management and others verticals which will be implemented via VADS Lyfe Sdn Bhd.
ii. Support government’s initiative towards promoting new industries including the IoT industry and making Malaysia a regional hub for IoT.
iii. Inter-Industry new business opportunities by creating new use cases generated by digital experiences driven by the IoT enablers.
iv. Improving financial efficiencies of business and public services using flexible business models.
TM is now able to provide a fully integrated suite of managed connectivity and ICT services as well as smart city and IoT solutions to its enterprise and public sector customers. With all the above initiatives underway, TM is on track to become Malaysia’s Convergence Champion, toward delivering the promise of ‘Life and Business Made Easier’.