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Indonesia: Telkomsel’s 4G Revolution for Seafaring Connectivity

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Mudik is a tradition of returning to one’s hometown that is widely practised by the Indonesian community, especially when Eid al-Fitr celebrations approach. This tradition involves a massive population movement from big cities to their origin areas or hometowns to celebrate the holiday with family and relatives.

The phenomenon of mudik also shows the importance of family values and togetherness in Indonesian culture. It becomes a moment to reconnect social and cultural ties among family members who might have been separated by distance for various reasons, such as work or education.

The Indonesian government often takes special measures to accommodate the travel surge during the mudik period, such as increasing public transportation capacity, providing emergency health services on the mudik routes, and maintaining and repairing road infrastructure.

This year, as a State-Owned Enterprise, the cellular operator Telkomsel provides 4G networks on 14 mudik ships operated by the Indonesian National Shipping Company (Pelni).

Over the years, mudik travellers choosing to travel by sea have faced significant obstacles related to internet access. This condition has left them disconnected from the outside world. At the same time, in the middle of the sea, thus unable to access up-to-date information, communicate with family, or even enjoy entertainment.

“With this latest development, we can provide high-quality services to our customers, ensuring that they remain connected even while in the middle of a sea journey,” said Saki Bramono, Telkomsel’s Vice Director of Corporate Communication and Social Responsibility.

Further, Telkomsel’s 4G service has now successfully reached as many as 1,100 shipping routes served by 14 ships and 83 ports across Indonesia. This innovation results from a strategic collaboration with Telkomsat, a Telkom subsidiary specialising in satellite internet services. Through this collaboration, Telkomsel and Telkomsat present a strong and stable 4G LTE signal on ships, allowing passengers to stay connected to the internet during their mudik journey.

Telkomsat uses the Non-Geostationary Orbit (NGSO) Landing Rights to ensure broad and reliable satellite internet coverage. Saki stated that the initiative to provide 4G internet services on ships, chosen by the community for mudik, is the first time Telkomsel has implemented satellite internet technology. This move not only revolutionises the sailing experience for mudik travellers by sea by ensuring smooth and continuous communication access but also marks a new chapter in Telkomsel’s efforts to overcome connectivity challenges in Indonesia, especially in hard-to-reach locations like the middle of the sea.

To improve service quality and customer experience during the crucial mudik Lebaran period, Telkomsel focuses on upgrading and optimising telecommunications networks and proactively expands and strengthens its network infrastructure. As part of these efforts, Telkomsel strategically increased the 4G network capacity at 70 existing Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and took a significant step by building 325 new 4G BTS.

These measures ensure that customers enjoy smooth connectivity and high-quality communication in urban areas and mudik routes that often cross areas with limited telecommunications access.

Telkomsel estimates a 15.22% increase in internet traffic during the Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr 2024 period compared to regular days. Of the total increase in internet traffic, the cellular operator estimates the highest increase comes from the areas of Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara, popular mudik destinations, at 26.25%.

The second highest increase is estimated from Sumatra, at 16.99%. An increase in internet traffic is also expected in Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan by 13.11%. Meanwhile, the increase in internet traffic in the Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, and West Java areas is estimated to reach 4.28%.

Telkomsel has prepared a customer service team that works tirelessly, ready to serve customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers can easily access this service through various channels, including social media, customer service calls, the MyTelkomsel mobile app, and a virtual assistant named Veronika. Customers can also visit GraPARI outlets spread across various locations for face-to-face services.

These comprehensive measures affirm Telkomsel’s commitment to providing high-quality and reliable telecommunications services, especially during important moments like the mudik Lebaran, where smooth and fast communication is critical.

With the improvement of network infrastructure and strong customer service support, Telkomsel strives to ensure that every customer can connect with family and loved ones without obstacles, making their mudik journey safe and enjoyable.


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