StarHub, U Mobile and Huawei are testing 5G holographic calls between Singapore and Malaysia 

A holographic call conducted over 5G by British telco Vondafone in 2018.
Chris Ison/AP Images for Vodafone

Want to make a holographic call to someone in another country? What once belonged in sci-fi movies may soon become a reality, if telcos StarHub and U Mobile’s upcoming test is successful.

The companies announced on Monday (Dec 30) that they are conducting one of the world’s first 5G standalone roaming trials in Malaysia in the first quarter of next year.

The trial, a collaboration with Chinese tech giant Huawei, will help the telcos figure out the right prices and configurations for seamless roaming in both countries when a 5G network becomes commercially available.

Read also: Top Huawei exec Guo Ping says 5G will be ‘the new electricity’ when combined with AI and other technologies

They include testing multi-party video calls and cross-border holographic calls conducted independent of 4G – different from current trials, which piggyback on a 4G network.

Business Insider previously reported that British telco Vodafone successfully trialed a 5G holographic call with England Women’s Football captain Steph Houghton (pictured above) in September last year.

StarHub CTO Chong Siew Loong said the firm found it ideal to begin 5G trials in Malaysia, which was Singapore’s closest neighbour and a top travel destination for customers.

Meanwhile, U Mobile CTO Woon Ooi Yuen said his company had been aggressively expanding its network to catch up to older competitors, and was betting on 5G for future growth.

He added: “These trials will not only benefit the business and travel communities who regularly commute between the two countries; we also think it will be beneficial to the healthcare industry, as 5G standalone roaming may enable remote surgery to be done across borders.”

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