Keynote Speeches

Open RAN: Pathway from 5G to 6G



Tony Q.S. Quek

IEEE Fellow



Abstract

Today, mobile network operators source their entire radio access network (RAN) from one supplier or use multiple suppliers in different geographic areas. One of the key characteristics of Open RAN is to allow RAN components from different suppliers to be interoperable through open interfaces. Furthermore, Open RAN also allows the splitting/disaggregating of different network functions and the cloudification and virtualisation of network functions. While Open RAN is still at the early stage of development and deployment for 5G networks, there is nevertheless potential that it can be a fundamental part of 6G. In this talk, we will provide an overview of Open RAN and the pathway towards 6G. In addition, we will share Singapore’s first national Future Communications Research and Development Programme (FCP) to jumpstart cutting-edge communications and connectivity research, especially on Open RAN research and development.



Bio

Tony Q.S. Quek received the B.E. and M.E. degrees in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, respectively. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he earned the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Currently, he is the Cheng Tsang Man Chair Professor with Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and ST Engineering Distinguished Professor. He also serves as the Head of ISTD Pillar, Director for Future Communications R&D Programme, Sector Lead for SUTD AI Program, and the Deputy Director of SUTD-ZJU IDEA. His current research topics include wireless communications and networking, 6G, network intelligence, non-terrestrial networks, and open radio access network.

Dr. Quek has been actively involved in organizing and chairing sessions and has served as a TPC member in numerous international conferences. He is currently serving as an Area Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. He was an Executive Editorial Committee Member of the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Communications, and an Editor of the IEEE Wireless Communications Letters.

Dr. Quek received the 2008 Philip Yeo Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Research, the 2012 IEEE William R. Bennett Prize, the 2016 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award, the 2017 CTTC Early Achievement Award, the 2017 IEEE ComSoc AP Outstanding Paper Award, the 2020 IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper Award, the 2020 IEEE Stephen O. Rice Prize, the 2020 Nokia Visiting Professorship, and the the 2022 IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore.



Connecting the unconnected: MY Journey



Adjunct Prof Dr Ahmad Nasruddin ‘Atiqullah Fakrullah

Chief Technical and Monitoring Officer, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission



Abstract

Malaysia has launched Pelan Jalinan Digital Negara or JENDELA in September 2020 with the goal of improving the quality of digital infrastructure and services across the country. By the end of the five-year national digital infrastructure plan, JENDELA aims to deliver fibre connection for nine (9) million premises, 100% Internet connectivity for populated areas, and increased the mobile broadband speed to 100 Mbps. The unwavering commitment to build this robust digital infrastructure will be pivotal to Malaysia’s digital transformation and in bridging the digital divide for rural, urban and even B40 communities. Ending 2022 saw JENDELA Phase 1 achieve: These achievements exceeded the initial target set at the beginning of this initiative with 7.5 million premises passed with gigabit speed, 96.9% 4G coverage in populated areas and 35 Mbps* mobile broadband speed. As of 31 December 2022, the 5G network rollout in populated areas has reached 47.1% from the target of 37.9%. It is expected that the target of 80% coverage in populated areas at the end of 2023 can be realized.



Bio

Dr Ahmad Nasruddin ‘Atiqullah is currently the Chief Officer for the Technical and Monitoring Sector in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the regulator for the converged communications and multimedia industry. He was also the chairman of 5G Testbed Working Group under National 5G Task Force in 2019. Dr Nasruddin has served in MCMC since 2004, where he has held various portfolios in Spectrum Planning Division, the Head for MCMC Academy, the Head of Technology and Standards Division and Head of Infrastructure Planning and Management Division. He began his career as a telecommunication engineer in TM Touch prior joining MCMC.

Dr Nasruddin holds BEng. (Hons) in Electronics Engineering from Multimedia University, and Masters in Information Management from Universiti Teknologi MARA. In March 2018, Dr. Nasruddin was awarded the degree of Doctor of Engineering (Engineering Business Management) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). He was appointed as UTM Adjunct Professor in recognition if his contribution to the advancement of telecommunications infrastructure in Malaysia.



Malaysia’s First Oil and Gas Enterprise 5G Deployment : A Success Story



Ir. Dr. M Zurix Mohamed

Custodian Instrument & Control Group Technical Solution PETRONAS



Abstract

5G technology is the most advanced cellular last-mile technology that has the superiority to deliver high bandwidth data speeds, ultra-low latency and massive network capacity. 5G usage will provide a remarkable technical leap advantages as compared to the 4G and Wi-Fi technology which are currently being deployed across PETRONAS. With 5G technology are readily available, all the current use cases and applications supported by 4G and Wi-Fi will be enhanced with better user experiences and future proof infrastructures. 5G will even speed-up the adoption of IIoT which are crucial in supporting bigger digitalization agendas such as Digital Twin, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Whilst 5G technology are ready to be deployed, the lack of 5G use cases could potentially hamper the 5G deployment pace. The Oil and Gas end users are still looking for more use cases to be readily available in the market to justify the 5G technology deployment. While Oil and Gas companies may aim for its individual 5G site deployment, collaboration between oil and gas companies, technology solution providers, 5G chipmakers, telecommunication service providers, universities and related government agencies are keys in expediting 5G solutioning’s time to market. This would spur the development of 5G-enabled IIoT solutions and Use Cases. Our drive is for the technology to be deployed at faster pace to reap the benefit of 5G technology, upholding the digitally enabled operation aspirations and improve business performances.



Bio

Dr. Ir. M Zurix Mohamed is the distinguished Custodian for Instrument & Control, specializing in Measurement within PETRONAS Group Technical Solutions (GTS). With a profound 20 years of industry experience, he has made significant strides in refinery operations, mega projects, and the advancement of digital tool development, positioning him as a pivotal figure in PETRONAS's journey towards innovation and operational excellence. Holding the prestigious title of Professional Engineer recognized by the Board of Engineers Malaysia, Dr. Zurix has augmented his professional standing with a PhD in Engineering Management. Since joining PETRONAS in 2003 as a Maintenance Engineer, he has ascended through the ranks, demonstrating exceptional leadership and technical acumen.

Dr. Zurix's tenure is marked by his leadership in the development of multiple PETRONAS technologies, all of which are IP-patented and now integral to the functionality of oil and gas plants. His commitment to innovation extends to plant optimization, leveraging digital tools and artificial intelligence to enhance operational efficiency. His efforts have not only led to the patenting of various optimization technologies in instrument and control but have also positioned PETRONAS at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry. As an active contributor to the engineering community, Dr. Zurix regularly engages in multiple conferences, sharing his insights and breakthroughs. His exceptional work has been recognized with multiple awards, celebrating his contributions to instrument and control engineering and his impactful role in developing cutting-edge technologies for PETRONAS.