The government of Indonesia has been advised that it needs to increase the frequencies being allocated for mobile broadband services if service providers are to maintain and improve service quality. Telkomsel senior VP for Long Term Evolution (LTE) projects, Hendri Mulja Sham, says that the authorities must emulate neighbouring countries such as South Korea which has assigned frequencies in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands for mobile internet, noting that, on average, South Korea’s three incumbent cellcos each hold around 130MHz of bandwidth. By contrast, the Telkomsel official told IndoTelko that some Indonesian operators can expect to be limited to just 40MHz.
With the government looking to auction off additional blocks of spectrum, Hendri confirmed that Telkomsel ‘will bid for a frequency of 2.1GHz and 2.3GHz’, noting that these bands are suitable for providing coverage in high population urban and suburban areas. ‘If we could secure 30MHz in the 2300MHz band, we could do a lot of things with it,’ he said. In addition, he said that Telkomsel intends to repurpose its 900MHz frequencies for non-4G services, given that the lower frequency band is better for providing wider blanket coverage and the fact that Telkomsel does not expect rival cellcos to introduce LTE-900 either.