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Accelerating the Development of Digital Infrastructure in Indonesia

President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo emphasised the acceleration of national digital transformation for five aspects, one of which relates to accelerating the expansion of telecommunication access, increasing digital infrastructure and providing internet services.

In 2021, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia has built a digital infrastructure that includes all aspects. The Ministry also has reorganised the radio frequency spectrum to optimise the quality of 4G network services, develop 5G networks, and make the Analog Switch Off (ASO) program a success.

First, from the backbone layer, the Ministry has so far carried out the deployment of the Palapa Ring fibre optic cable network, both the West, Central, and East Palapa Rings, where 2021 is the year of evaluation of the utilisation of the Palapa Ring.

– Dedy Permadi, Spokesperson, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology

Increasing the utilisation of the Palapa Ring still requires the deployment of fibre optics to connect unconnected fibre optic points, both on land and at sea. Meanwhile, for infrastructure in the middle mile layer through the provision of satellite capacity, Indonesia currently uses 9 telecommunications satellites equivalent to 50 Gbps and 55%of them are used by the Ministry.

To meet the increasing need for satellite capacity, in 2021, there was a series of construction processes for the SATRIA-I multifunction satellite with a capacity of 150 Gbps, including the construction of satellite and rocket components in France and America, as well as 11 earth stations in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, at the last-mile layer, the Ministry together with cellular operator partners have started the construction of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in 12,548 villages that do not yet have 4G access. The total number of BTS construction includes 9,113 in the 3T area by BLU BAKTI of the Ministry and 3,435 BTS in the non-3T area by cellular operators.

In addition to massive digital infrastructure development, the Ministry also continues to ensure the quality of telecommunications services in Indonesia. Therefore, the Ministry has completed the construction of a Telecommunication Monitoring Center which will measure Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE), and follow up services on public complaints related to service interruptions in real-time. in 514 regencies/cities.

The Ministry will continue to develop telecommunications infrastructure under the plans in the Digital Indonesia Roadmap. In 2022, the Ministry will focus on completing development at the backbone layer up to the last mile.

As part of the development evaluation in 2022, there are several challenges in developing digital infrastructure which includes limited funding, especially for development in the 3T region (underdeveloped, outermost, and underdeveloped). Therefore, the Ministry made a breakthrough through a blended financing scheme.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Airlangga Hartarto, the coordinating minister for Economic Affairs, remarked in a statement that digitalisation is one of the strategies to accelerate the transition to a new economy. Digital technology, he claims, has enabled increased coordination among economic stakeholders to speed up trade, create jobs, and improve access to public services. “This momentum must be used to push the digital transformation process,” he said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations economy has surpassed $100 billion in value. According to the minister, it is expected to triple in size by 2025, reaching more than US$ 300 billion. E-commerce has been the most significant contributor to the ASEAN digital economy, followed by transportation and food delivery, online media, and travel. Apart from that, he highlighted that healthtech and edutech have emerged into promising fields. Indonesia’s digital economy is valued at US$ 44 billion, the most in ASEAN, and is expected to rise eightfold by 2030.

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