UTM, Keysight and Tekmark Ink Partnership to Advance 5G R&D

KUALA LUMPUR, 4th April: – A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) has been signed between Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Keysight Technologies Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (Keysight), Keysight Technologies Sales (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and Tekmark Sdn. Bhd. to officially launch the UTM-Keysight 5G Propagation Laboratory. This mobile lab on wheels hosts Malaysia’s first 5G millimetre wave channel sounder, a solution which was tailor-made by Keysight Technologies to support cutting-edge 5G millimetre wave research in the country.

The multi-million Ringgit research and development (R&D) facility, jointly funded by Keysight Technologies, UTM and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) Malaysia, is an example of a successful public-private partnership that is aligned with Malaysia’s Education Blueprint 2015-2025 and UTM’s Global Plan 2012-2020, with the aim to conduct and produce world-class research.

“The partnership between Wireless Communication Centre (WCC) UTM, Keysight and Tekmark is a real-life example of the ‘Industry and Academia are One’ concept applauded by the Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh. It is my sincere hope that both WCC UTM, Keysight and Tekmark can continue working hand-in-hand closely, for the betterment of all four institutions, the society and the nation,” said Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation).

“Keysight is proud to be part of this significant collaboration to drive research in 5G and facilitate enhancement of skills and capabilities of Malaysia’s engineering talents. This will bring us closer to the future and paves the way for the eventual deployment of 5G which will open up a whole new world of possibilities – serving as the foundation for other new and emerging technologies such as connected and autonomous cars, drones, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the internet of things,” said Dato’ Noorashidah Ahmad, Vice President & General Manager, Global Order Fulfillment & Supply Chain of Keysight Technologies and General Manager of Keysight Malaysia.

“Tekmark is thrilled and honoured to be able to continue our close ties with UTM since 1994. I am confident with this latest partnership between UTM, Keysight Technologies and Tekmark, UTM is able to become a prominent hub not just for 5G Research and Development but also a centre to develop the next generation of human capital, in line with the National Transformation Plan 2050 (TN50),” said Dato’ Seri Dr Mohd Ariff Araff, Tekmark Sdn Bhd’s Chairman.

Keysight, the world’s leading electronic measurement company, has been collaborating with top researchers around the globe to accelerate R&D of 5G technology with greater precision and deeper confidence. Under this partnership, Keysight, with its industry-leading track record and expertise in 5G millimetre wave test and measurement, will join hands with UTM’s researchers to innovate and bring new discoveries to life. Tekmark (Keysight’s Authorised Technology Partner in Malaysia) will help facilitate, support, and deliver activities to assist UTM towards obtaining accreditation status for the 5G Propagation Laboratory, Specific Absorption Rate Laboratory and Long Term Evolution Laboratory in the Wireless Communication Centre.

Millimetre wave technology is the new frontier for multi-gigabits per second ultra high speed broadband. Millimetre wave covering frequencies from 30GHz to 300GHz offers vast amounts of bandwidth to support 5G enhanced broadband applications such as augmented reality, virtual reality and ultra high definition video streaming. Operating at higher frequencies in the millimeter wave spectrum presents new challenges where it is very sensitive to environmental factors such as buildings, vegetation and rain. Existing results on millimeter wave propagation research mainly focus on temperate environments. Hence, the main goal of setting up this state-of-the-art UTM-Keysight 5G Propagation Laboratory is to study the impact of tropical environments to millimetre wave propagation.

Under this partnership, the Wireless Communication Centre (WCC) is UTM’s research centre that will work closely with Keysight to study millimetre wave propagation in tropical environments. WCC is the only recognised national Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HI-COE) by the MoHE in the niche research area of 5G wireless technology. With the support from the government and the industry, WCC UTM aims to become a prominent 5G research centre in this region.

The MoA document was signed by UTM’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Prof. Datuk Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Vice President & General Manager, Global Order Fulfillment & Supply Chain of Keysight Technologies and General Manager of Keysight Malaysia, Dato’ Noorashidah Ahmad, the General Manager of Keysight Technologies Sales (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., Mr. Lee Choon Seng and Chairman of Tekmark Sdn Bhd., Dato’ Seri Dr Mohd Ariff Araff. The signing ceremony was held at the Chancellery Meeting Room, Menara Razak, UTM Kuala Lumpur on 4th April 2018.