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Digital Equity: Indonesia Betters Connectivity in Remote Regions

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The Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) has finished constructing 4,988 4G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in disadvantaged, frontier, and outermost (3T) regions. They were constructed by the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Agency (Badan Aksesibilitas Telekomunikasi dan Informasi or BAKTI) under Kominfo to bridge digital infrastructure gaps.

Image credit: Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics

As of December, 4,988 out of 5,618 planned BTS are fully operational. Even though President Joko Widodo emphasised the need to launch the BAKTI Kominfo BTS 4G project this year, construction at the remaining 630 locations will be carried out next year. This is because of security considerations and geographical conditions that make the regions difficult to reach, the Minister of Communication and Information, Budi Arie Setiadi, explained.

He will continue to work with the Ministry of Home Affairs and regional governments to find solutions to complete the development in these locations. Careful deliberation is essential to select comprehensive and fitting solutions for the geographical conditions and challenges present in these areas, ensuring that individuals in 3T areas are connected and can access internet services.

The government is collaborating with multiple stakeholders, including the BAKTI Kominfo Task Force, law enforcement officials (APH), financial supervisory institutions, and various other contributors in the construction process.

President Joko Widodo will officially inaugurate the operational use of these BTS during a ceremony at 26 construction sites, and a video conference will be conducted to assess the network’s reliability.

Funding for the construction of the 4G BTS comes from the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBN) and Non-Tax State Revenue (PNBP), overseen by Kominfo. Additionally, the BAKTI Kominfo maintains its contractual collaboration with previous partners for the operations of 4G BTS in 3T areas.

The project is part of the initiative to equalise national digital infrastructure. The establishment of the BAKTI 4G BTS tower represents a tangible commitment by the Ministry to deliver 4G cellular services to communities in 3T areas, the Minister said.

Indonesia aims to become one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of internet speed and the government is encouraging investments in the telecommunications sector. In October, OpenGov Asia reported that Kominfo is formulating incentives to support 5G network technology. A specific measure involves providing incentives to telecommunications operators, encouraging them to undertake large-scale investments. These incentives are designed to alleviate the burden of substantial upfront payments, lowering the overall investment costs for the operators. Commercial 5G services are operational in 49 cities throughout Indonesia and network construction is currently underway in five super-priority tourist destinations.

Meanwhile, to ensure the development of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure while upholding the quality of services, Kominfo has built Telecommunication Monitoring Centres (Pusat Monitoring Telekomunikasi or PMT) facilities.

The centres provide six elements, namely the PMT analysis dashboard, the Geographic Information System (GIS), the Sigmon application, telecommunications monitoring, smart monitoring quality of service (QoS), and ticketing. Sigmon, created by Kominfo, is a mobile app offering immediate information on users’ mobile network service, including internet speed and radio performance, featuring speed tests, web browsing tests, video tests, and route tests.

PMTs deliver real-time or near-real-time information on the quality of telecommunications, postal, and broadcasting services, facilitating efficient and accurate monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and analysis activities.


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