Indonesia mobile shake-up could force network sharing on Telkomsel, report says

15 Aug 2016

According to an unconfirmed report from Reuters, the government of Indonesia is mulling plans to force the country’s leading mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, Telkomsel, to open up parts of its network to smaller rivals. With eyes on liberalising the sector to dramatically boost the acceleration of broadband deployments over the next three years, Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara is quoted as saying that current rollout schedule is too slow and ‘the strategy has to be built in a more efficient way, which is to allow active sharing’ – including it is said, spectrum sharing. The minister believes that at the current rate, ‘the country will fall at least USD15 billion short of expanding fixed and mobile networks through its existing model’. As such, plans are afoot to address the problem and the changes could prove the key to achieving President Joko Widodo’s aims to extend connectivity across the Indonesian islands by 2019, Reuters notes.

In the past the country’s dominant MNOs, Telkomsel (Telekomunikasi Selular), Indosat Ooredoo, Hutchison 3 Indonesia (Tri) and XL Axiata, have requested the government introduce spectrum sharing, but their calls have fallen on deaf ears with the government seemingly reluctant to open up the market amid potential national security concerns.