Melinda Martinus

Lead Researcher (Socio-cultural), ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS

Ms Melinda Martinus is Lead Researcher (Socio-cultural), ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS –Yusof Ishak Institute.

This illustration picture taken on 17 February 2019 shows the 5G wireless technology logo displayed on a smartphone and a wireless signal sign. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP)

Southeast Asia a contested venue for telecommunication superpowers building 5G networks

Many Southeast Asian telecommunication providers have rolled out their 5G masterplans and selected vendors this year, with Covid-19 prompting the need to accelerate the upgrading of digital infrastructure. However, while most Southeast Asian countries welcome collaboration with Chinese telecommunication vendors including Huawei, some telecommunication providers in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines have recently moved away from partnering with Chinese companies. ISEAS academic Melinda Martinus finds out SEA's preferred vendors for developing 5G networks, and the reasons behind these shifts in preferences. Are Chinese companies still well-positioned to seize the opportunities in this arena?