Mobile Network Usage Experience Report June 2020 by

Jakarta – In recent years, it is known that there has been an increase in the use of cellular networks from all operators in Indonesia. It can be said that mobile operators have successfully invested and transformed digital in Indonesia. As a result, the industry occupies the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia region. Supported by high-speed internet connectivity in many areas also strengthens the foundations of the country’s digital economy. In addition, users also admit that the experience of using cellular networks on smartphones is also different. For example, Telkomsel operators that provide the best experience when watching streaming videos, accessing mobile games, accessing voice applications, download speeds, and quite wide 4G network coverage. Smartfren on the other side, provides the best 4G availability.  

However, we question the availability of 4G operators in Indonesia, whether they have reached various regions to remote areas of the country or not.

According to a regional analysis conducted by Open Signal, around 30 largest cities in Indonesia already have better 4G network access. 4G network availability can not only be accessed by certain operator users. All Telkomsel, 3, Indosat, XL, and Smartfren network users are now more free to use the 4G network without problems. So is the smooth 4G network connectivity in almost all parts of Indonesia justified by the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo)? The ministry spokesman, in an interview with local media, revealed that there are still many villages in Indonesia that do not have access to the 4G network. According to Widodo Muktiyo, Director General of Information and Public Communication said that out of 83,218 villages and sub-districts in Indonesia, there are 12,548 villages and wards that have not been reached by the 4G network. Of the 12,548 villages and wards, 9,113 of them are underdeveloped, frontier, and outermost areas.

The condition of the availability of 4G networks in those areas have received special attention from the government. President Joko Widodo has directed that no later than the end of 2022, all remote villages and sub-districts in Indonesia will be able to properly access the 4G network via smartphones. Thus, all parties involved, starting from the Ministry of Communication and Information and supported by network operators, will also build supporting infrastructure. 

As in 2020, the Indonesian government has built 1,906 base transceiver stations (BTS). The infrastructure development process to support 4G network connectivity will be carried out in a sustainable manner. The reason is, it requires an adequate budget and sufficient time. The development in question also does not stop in 2022. However, it is expected to continue into the next year, such as the plan to launch Satria 1 in 2023, refarming and farming the efficiency of the radio frequency spectrum, building a telecommunications monitoring center, and building a 5G network, and others. 

President Joko Widodo set a big target in 2024 Indonesia will be more advanced in terms of technology. So, the availability of technology and digital can meet the needs of people who live in urban to rural areas. In this regard,  Kominfo has also taken a number of steps that are alleged to support the success of infrastructure development for 4G network connections. The following are efforts made by Kominfo, including:

  • Internetification ratio improved,
  • Internet disparities between individuals or humans between regions are minimized,
  • Human resource development in the digital field to be comprehensive and sustainable,
  • Digital literacy,
  • Digital talent search,
  • The digital economy system facilitates MSMEs, fishermen, and farmers,
  • Provision of digital education.

In terms of digital network development in remote areas, one example is Bitung City, North Sulawesi Province. Currently, the Kominfo is conducting a review of the prospective locations for the National Data Center (PDN), which will collect one national data. Where it aims to support the national digitization program in 2022. Four locations have been proclaimed for PDN development, namely Jakarta (the current capital), the new capital, Batam-Riau Islands, and Bitung-North Sulawesi. In each of these regions, e-Government will be implemented and connected to each other based on the application of measured capital expenditure (capex) and operational expenditure (opex). As for the location of Bitung City, North Sulawesi was chosen because it is considered the central point connecting Western Indonesia, Central Indonesia, and Eastern Indonesia. So that this very strategic geological location encourages the availability of 4G networks and supporting infrastructure for remote areas around it. Especially in areas that are still not reached by electricity, the government will immediately provide them because if the power fails, digital data will go out.

Based on the above review, it can be concluded that the Indonesian government together with Kominfo continue to strive for the need for smooth and fast internet access for all people. Moreover, with 4G internet access, the procurement of infrastructure and electricity sources will be built if the area does not yet exist. The efforts made by Kominfo are not playing games because the steps to be implemented are already organized and very clear.


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