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Internet connectivity: still a key priority for Indonesia in 2019

Credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

The Minister of Communications and Information will be leading the Ministry in focusing on four key programs in 2019, according to a recent report.

His first focus would be the completion of the Palapa Ring Project this year. The West and Central packages are already finished while the East Package is targeted to be done and integrated by the middle of 2019.

The Minister explained how the Palapa Ring Project is the government’s effort to provide telecommunications access throughout Indonesia.

The need for telecommunications and internet access networks to be distributed throughout the country is strong as these are useful in the education, health and defence sectors in order for them to provide better service.

The second focus of the Ministry will be on building its own satellite, which is aimed at connecting the whole of Indonesia.

The Minister explained that since their own satellite will only be available in 2022, they will rent a satellite with a similar set of characteristics for the meantime.

An effort to procure satellites by opening an auction has been initiated by the Ministry.

The satellite, along with the Palapa Ring fibre optic cable networks, will strengthen the government’s goal of an improved telecommunications and internet networks in the country.

Renting a satellite means there will be no need to wait until 2022 in order to accelerate the telecommunications network.

Once their own satellite is ready, they will just transfer from the rented satellite to their own.

The third focus will be achieved with the help of the Ministry of Industry.

The Ministry of Communications and Information aims to have smartphone devices in the future that are actually made in Indonesia and are cheaper than the current available smartphones in the market.

Being in cooperation will hopefully result to Indonesians having smartphones equipped with good features at affordable prices.

The fourth program will have the Minister focusing on building and supporting start-ups in order for them to achieve Decacorn status.

A Decacorn is defined as a digital start-up that is valued at US$ 10 billion or more. They are aiming to have a Decacorn by the middle of 2019.

Achieving this entails supporting the companies that are currently of Unicorn status in the country. Reaching Unicorn status means the company is valued at US$ 1 billion or more.

Currently, there are four Unicorns in Indonesia: Go-Jek, Tokopedia, Traveloka and Bukalapak.

The Minister announced his 2019 plans during a two-day visit to Morotai Island. He was there to check on the completion of the Morotai Fibre Optic Station terminal.

The terminal houses the Palapa Ring Central Package’s fibre optic transmission network active devices.

They also tested the Central Package while they were there. This connects Manado to Melonguane; Talaud Regency, then from Melonguane to Morotai, North Maluku.

An earlier report explained that the Palapa Ring is a fibre optic network built across the stretch of Indonesia in order to improve the operational quality of the telecommunication networks.

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