Thanks to 5G connectivity, Maxis’ flagship community programme—eKelas, has received a virtual reality (VR) boost, showcasing the potential of 5G in the education sector. Maxis demonstrated a VR learning experience for Science learning in its eKelas programme to Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Pusat Internet IOCC, Langkawi on Sunday, 20 January 2020. The Maxis eKelas VR learning experience is the only use case in the education vertical being piloted under the 5G Demonstration Projects (5GDP) initiative.
Through VR learning, eKelas students can virtually explore the different parts of the human body or animal cells using their hands, while guided by a teacher remotely. Students are equipped with a VR headset that’s complete with a unique student-friendly interface, gesture controls, embedded educational resources and simple-to-use teacher controls. VR enables experiential learning which aids students’ understanding and retention of a specific topic.
Gokhan Ogut, Maxis’ chief executive officer said the company believes that 5G has a great potential to be a catalyst to advance education in Malaysia.
“We want to play a key role in connecting more schools with our digital learning content though our well established Maxis eKelas portal. Digital inclusion is important and Maxis wants to do its part in ensuring that the benefits of technology are realised by all,” he said.
Aside from the eKelas VR use case, Maxis also has two other 5G use cases in Langkawi—Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) stationed at Langkawi International Airport (LIA) to showcase 5G speeds and connectivity at areas not covered fixed High-Speed Broadband (HSBB); and Smart Agriculture, in collaboration with Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to enable precision agriculture with Maxis NB-IoT for grape crops.
eKelas by Maxis is an after-school digital learning initiative that aims to improve the academic performance of students in underserved and rural communities. It is delivered through the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)-owned Pusat Internet under Maxis’ care.
The programme focuses on Science, Mathematics and English for students from Primary 6 to Form 5. It uses a combination of live tutorials, group learning and interactive digital content.
eKelas is now available at 72 Pusat Internet under Maxis’ care across 10 states, with a target to impact more than 17,000 students in 2020.
The programme is recognised by the Ministry of Education as an initiative under its Highly Immersive Programme. Students are eligible to collect co-curricular marks for their participation in eKelas.
Maxis 5G: The journey so far
Over the past few years, Maxis has been accessing 5G technology and conducting demo trials in its test lab. It has been upgrading its transport network to support gigabit speeds as well as virtualising its core network elements to better meet the capacity demands of the fifth generation cellular technology.
In February this year, Maxis and Huawei signed an MoU to cooperate on full-fledged 5G trials. The first fruit of labour was conducting the first 5G live trials in the country (including its first indoor trials), where it recorded close to 3Gbps download speeds.
Later, it participated in MCMC’s #5GMalaysia showcase in Putrajaya to demonstrate how the technology can enable government and corporations to make informed decisions using the technology.
In October, Maxis and Huawei signed a landmark agreement for the provisioning of 5G network.
A month later, the company unveiled its first use case demo at aquariaKLCC, showcasing Malaysia’s first 5G Augmented Reality (AR) experience with marine life.
The latest development is the signing of an MoU between Maxis and Celcom, to explore a potential partnership that will enable both telcos to explore possible business opportunities in 5G.
Following the approval from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to trial 200MHz of 3.5GHz C-band spectrum, Maxis successfully achieved 2.96Gbps for single-user peak speeds at two of its trials sites in Subang Jaya recently. The recorded speeds mark a new high that further reinstates Maxis’ position of being at the forefront of the nation’s 5G development.