BRTI admits as many as 180m Indonesian mobile users could be hit by ‘network problems’

8 Apr 2015

Jakarta-based telecoms industry watchdog the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulation Body (BRTI) has warned that as many as 180 million mobile phone users in the country will be affected by ‘network problems’ whilst using their phones between mid-April and 31 December 2015, local news site reports. According to the report, the interruptions in service are the result of issues in the reallocation of 1800MHz frequencies by the big four mobile operators – Telkomsel, XL Axiata, Indosat and Hutchison 3 Indonesia – which are affecting voice calls, SMS and data access services that use either GPRS or EDGE technology on the cellcos’ systems. BRTI committee member Muhammad Ridwan is quoted as saying that the communication and information minister Rudiantara had ordered that the frequency allocation process start before 14 April 2015. The minister will soon issue a decree to regulate it, and notes that operators should advise customers about the possible drop in service quality during the roughly nine-month period. ‘So far, the 1800MHz spectrum with a bandwidth of 75MHz has been home to 180 million mobile phone users, for 2G access, who are served by Telkomsel (22.5MHz), XL Axiata (22.5MHz), Indosat (20MHz), and Hutchison 3 Indonesia (10MHz). The reallocation will eventually be used for 4G LTE which provides much higher speed for mobile devices,’ he said.