BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei launched its 5G mobile service on Thursday, allowing customers with 5G-capable devices to access ultra-high speed internet.

For consumers, this translates into faster cell and WiFi services up to 300MB per second, compared to 20MB to 80MB per second on the 4G network.

Industry stakeholders said the introduction of 5G could have wide-reaching implications for business and consumer technology, ushering in more IoT and AI-related apps and promoting the use of telemedicine and online education through augmented or virtual reality.

5G is the fifth-generation of cellular network technology, which offers significant advantages such as expansive bandwidth, enhanced network capacity, ultra-low latency, better availability, and greater reliability.

Currently, 90% of populated areas have access to mobile services that are 5G-ready with ongoing efforts to improve nationwide coverage. 

Image shows 5G mobile coverage in Brunei. Courtesy of AiTi

‘5G will not increase cost of mobile plans’

During the 5G launch event at The Empire hotel, Brunei’s three telcos — DST, imagine and Progresif — confirmed that pricing for postpaid mobile plans will remain unchanged.

DST CEO Radin Sufri Radin Basiuni said 5G will be available for the company’s Mobi and Freedom Plans, however it will not be an automatic upgrade and subscribers will have to opt-in to access 5G.

The three telcos are currently organising new 5G promotion bundles designed to incentivise customers to opt-in, aiming for a mass take-up of 5G across the country.

Progresif CEO Hjh Nurul Haniah Hj Jaafar said Progresif will introduce 5G-related bundles for gaming and augmented reality, as well as new add-ons to help manage data usage and prevent bill shock.

Brunei’s telecommunications infrastructure has undergone extensive upgrades in preparation for 5G, read a joint statement from the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam, Unified National Networks, DST, Progresif, and imagine. 

A national 5G Taskforce was established in 2020, followed by the launch of a 5G pilot project in April 2021, which studied consumer needs and the feasibility of rolling out 5G across the country.

“The introduction of 5G services opens up a world full of potential and opportunities to enhance
digitalisation among everyone,” the group said.