IndoTelko reports that Indonesian mobile operator PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia (Tri) has successfully reallocated more than 20,000 2G base transceiver stations (BTS) in the 1800MHz band to 4G LTE, as part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kemkominfo’s) directive of April this year. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Jakarta-based telecoms industry watchdog the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulation Body (BRTI) warned that as many as 180 million mobile phone users in the country would be affected by ‘network problems’ whilst using their phones between mid-April and 31 December 2015, due to interruptions in service as a result of issues in the reallocation of 1800MHz frequencies by the big four mobile operators – Telkomsel, XL Axiata, Indosat and Tri. Minister for communications Rudiantara ordered that the frequency allocation process start before 14 April 2015. Noting at the time: ‘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 Tri (10MHz). The reallocation will eventually be used for 4G LTE which provides much higher speed for mobile devices.’
Tri president Randeep Singh Sekhon now says that the reallocation has gone largely to plan, most recently with the switch over of 2,000 2G BTS in the inner Jakarta region serving as ‘the final phase of the setup process’. The cellco also holds a 10MHz block of 2100MHz spectrum to help it deliver 3G broadband speeds to users as part of the Broadband Indonesia plan launched by the government. Its 3G infrastructure is currently available in 150 cities and towns across the country, he added, noting though that the leap to 4G is now being realised with a push to bring 4G LTE to five major cities in the near future. As at 30 September 2015, Randeep said that Tri had expanded its overall mobile network to almost 39,000 BTS, all of which will eventually be upgraded to 4G. As it stands, the cellco’s signal serves 86% of the Indonesian population, and its current user base is 55.4 million customers – 60% of whom are mobile data customers.