Ericsson formally kicked off production of 5G radio equipment with a partner in the Malaysian state of Penang, with the facility the vendor’s first in Southeast Asia to make the latest mobile technology.

In a statement, the company noted a factory in Perai, northern Malaysia, will turn out 5G Massive MIMO antenna-integrated radios and in partnership with US-based Flex, a global manufacturer operating in 30 countries.

During the inauguration, David Hagerbro, head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, noted its investment in Malaysia marks the latest in a broad range of initiatives to bring “our global experiences, expertise and insights to Malaysia in support of the government’s ambition to be a digital leader”.

He added the country is an important market for Ericsson, and domestic manufacturing will contribute to the local economy through employment and the transfer of technical knowledge to the local workforce.

The vendor in July 2022 unveiled plans to make 5G gear in Malaysia for the domestic and regional markets during a meeting with then Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

In July 2021, Ericsson was selected as the sole equipment supplier for state-founded Digital Nasional Berhad’s wholesale 5G network. The government in April 2023 approved a second wholesale 5G network.

Digital Nasional claimed 5G covered nearly 50 per cent of populated areas by end-2022, reaching 15 million people.

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