Indonesian govt: ‘zero tolerance’ on Smartfren’s 1900MHz migration schedule

27 Jul 2016

The government of Indonesia says it will not allow mobile network operator (MNO) Telekom PT SmartFren (Smartfren) to in any way slide in its 1900MHz frequency migration timetable. TeleGeography notes that under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology’s (MCIT’s) network migration programme, CDMA operator-turned-LTE provider Smartfren will not be able to use the 1900MHz band for its service from the start of 2017 and, as such, is looking to move to the 2300MHz band where it is hopeful of securing 30MHz of spectrum. Speaking yesterday, however, MCIT minister Rudiantara reaffirmed that he will not tolerate any delays in the migration programme, adding that by 1 January 2017 the 1900MHz band ‘should be clean of code division multiple access services belonging to Smartfren’.

The company currently holds 13.75MHz of bandwidth in the 1900MHz band for CDMA, but – according to the rules – it will not be able to use this beyond December 2016. Rudiantara is keen to ensure that Smartfren vacates the 1900MHz band in good time to allow MCIT’s proposed tender of 3G frequencies at 2.1GHz to run as scheduled. A number of MNOs are seeking to acquire the additional 2.1GHz (3G) frequencies, including Hutchison 3 Indonesia (Tri), XL Axiata, Indosat Ooredoo and Telkomsel.