Swedish vendor Ericsson is to work with Malaysia's Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) on deploying 5G Advanced (5G-A) in the country.

The partnership will see the two work together on 5G-A, with Ericsson the network provider for the DNB's shared 5G network in Malaysia.

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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, Spain, to formalize the agreement.

5G Advanced is tipped to drive AI-based capabilities to 5G RAN, Core, and operation domains.

The DNB is Malaysia's first 5G mobile network, and was created by the previous government to reduce costs and improve efficiency. It covers 80 percent of the country's population.

However, it's not been without controversy, with the current government accusing the company of not being transparent, and alleging 'no proper tender process' was carried out.

The current government wants to launch a second national 5G network to rival the DNB, and is considering Chinese vendor Huawei for the rollout.

Last week, Huawei revealed that, along with Malaysian telco Maxis, it had completed what it claims to be the first 5G-Advanced technology trial in the country and Southeast Asia.

As for Ericsson, it notes that the agreement will focus on driving digital services for consumers, government, and enterprises; including offering on-demand services.

The vendor said it will work with the DNB on use cases that are enabled through end-to-end network slicing, high reliability, and low latency features for public events such as live video broadcasting, industrial surveillance, and industrial automation applications.

A push towards using advanced AI is tipped to support Malaysia's aim to become net zero, as AI is expected to optimize energy consumption and efficiency for a greener network.

David Hägerbro, head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, said: "Malaysia’s 5G network is among the Top 5 in the world and already leveraging the latest in 5G technology. It is ready for 5G Advanced and new use cases that emerge. Ericsson’s focus is on evolving and optimizing it as the enabler to make Malaysia a leading digital nation.”

"This new '5G Advanced' technology will bring advanced radio security, superior user experience, and enterprise capabilities, as well as empowering sustainability through enhanced energy management," added Nasution Mohamed, chief operating officer, DNB.