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Indonesia Sets Up High-Speed Frequency Spectrum to Enhance Broadband Internet

Indonesia has one of the world’s highest percentages of internet users. Nonetheless, when compared to other Asian countries, it has a low internet penetration rate. In 2021, mobile internet penetration in Indonesia is expected to be 68%. Its reach is expected to increase to 79% by 2025. The penetration rate is the proportion of the total population that has internet access via a mobile broadband connection.

With increasing mobile internet penetration in the country, there has been an increase in demand for lower data prices, greater coverage, and better service quality. As a key strategy to attract more customers, Indonesian internet providers have proposed attractive data pricing plans as well as optimised data-oriented mobile services.

Moreover, on the popularity of mobile internet, fixed broadband subscriptions in Indonesia have been increasing in recent years. As a result, broadband penetration rates among households in the country have increased.

After the transition of terrestrial television broadcasting from analogue to digital, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics anticipates a frequency spectrum allocation for fast internet. According to the Director-General of Information and Public Communication, the 700-MHz frequency band is a gold band for improving broadband internet.

The entire 700-MHz frequency band is currently used for analogue terrestrial television broadcasts, accounting for 328MHz of broadband. The discontinuation of analogue terrestrial television broadcasts, also known as analogue switch-off (ASO), will result in a digital dividend of 112MHz as a result of the efficiency of digital terrestrial broadcasting.

The ministry will use this to establish a 98MHz band on the 700MHz frequency spectrum to improve broadband internet. Given the rise in internet demand, he announced that the government is pursuing equalisation of mobile networks through efforts such as broadcasting digitalisation, or ASO.

OpenGov Asia reported that since it conducted an operation feasibility test, Indonesia’s leading digital telecom provider has moved on to the next stage of development of 5G in the country. The telecom has collaborated with a networking vendor to launch the country’s first commercial deployment of segment routing over a network technology to support the development of its 5G services.

With the emergence of newer technologies such as Cloud Computing and Network Slicing, this new technology, along with the digital telecom company’s wide fibre optic network expansions, will support the growing demand for mobile data consumption. The network intelligent routing functionality that enables deterministic routing paths will ensure high quality and low latency on-demand services with faster data connectivity and full automation required to serve Indonesia’s digital communities. In addition, network slicing allows the company to create new digital services for each customer by enabling the functions that cater to their needs.

Technology has become an indispensable part of people’s daily lives, with eight out of ten Southeast Asians viewing it as very helpful during the pandemic. Despite the global slowdown, the internet economy remains resilient at US$100 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV). As more consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) go online, and with a supportive ecosystem and regulatory environment, the anticipated 2025 total stands at more than $300 billion, indicating growth despite a challenging environment. Vietnam and Indonesia are two of the major hotspots.

The big shift in consumer behaviour to digital services has massive implications both for traditional companies venturing into the digital realm and digital-native companies. Education and Groceries benefited most from the influx of new digital consumers. While COVID-19 accelerated adoption in these and other sectors, it also set back some, like transport (ride-hailing) and online travel.

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