Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT, known locally as KemKominfo) says that 4G LTE coverage now blankets 64.6% of districts across the country. The Minister of Communications and Informatics, Rudiantara, told delegates at the discussion ‘Entering The Next Phase of Data Era’ that domestic mobile network operators (MNOs) are in general pursuing aggressive rollout plans since services were commercialised several years ago. The minister said that over the past three years, 62,291 eNodeB 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) have been built by the MNOs, meaning that services are currently in 45,811 villages, 4,088 sub-districts and 331 districts across the archipelago. Specifically, this equates to blanketing 55.05% of villages, 56.98% of sub-districts and 64.6% of districts, he said, with an average 80 new BTS being added every day.
Echoing the minister, Telkomsel’s VP of Next Generation Networks, Ivan Cahya Permana, noted that the MNO is optimising its additional 2300MHz frequencies, supporting an expansion of its LTE coverage to 500 towns/cities (up from 180 towns/cities in April 2017). Meanwhile, XL Axiata’s Rahmadi Mulyohartono said that a lack of available frequency continues to hinder XL’s nationwide development, saying that he hoped to improve coverage outside Java once it has the opportunity to increase its frequency allocations, and Smartfren’s president Merza Fachys pointed to the limited availability of backbone and transmission infrastructure as a further obstacle. ‘We cannot rely on microwaves for transmission, it must be fibre-optic infrastructure [and we] hope we can build out our fibre-optic coverage in urban area to support 4G [radio] access,’ he said. Finally, Tri Indonesia VP Danny Buldansyah said his company is ‘aggressively building’ its 4G network after obtaining additional frequency at 2100MHz.