KemKominfo advised not to renew Berca’s 2300MHz licence

14 Nov 2019

The Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI) in Indonesia, known locally as Kementerian Komunikasi dan Informatika (KemKominfo), is being urged not to extend the 2×30MHz 2300MHz frequency licence of fixed-wireless broadband operator Berca Hardayaperkasa (trading as hinet), because broadband wireless access (BWA) is struggling to compete with rival services offered by the country’s mobile operators.

‘I see a very small possibility that 2.3GHz BWA telecommunications providers will be able to compete with cellular operators with GSM technology. This can be seen from the number of BWA 2.3GHz operators that have died, unable to compete with cellular providers such as Smartfren, which have the same frequency at 2.3GHz. Meanwhile, the development achievements of those that remain are very, very minimal. So [in my opinion] all BWA operators should not be eligible to have their licences extended,’ IndoTelko cites the Secretary General of the Telecommunications Policy and Regulation Center of the Bandung Institute of Technology (BTI), Dr Mohammad Ridwan Effendi, as saying. The BTI official went on to claim that although Berca is licensed to offer its hinet 4G LTE service in eight zones (covering 21 provinces and 298 cities/municipalities), in the first ten years of operation it has only rolled out coverage to eight cities/municipalities.

In Ridwan’s opinion, Berca – a unit of Central Cipta Murdaya (CCM) – should realistically have built out its network across ‘almost all the zones they won’ rights to provide BWA services in by today, and now suggests that as per Article 23 Paragraph (1) of Government Regulation No.53 / 2000, Berca ‘should not have been able to maintain its frequency [licence] because its development targets have not been fulfilled, so that it is ineffective’ and not providing any benefits to the community – as its mandate required. As such, Ridwan believes that the government should act decisively in the management of the country’s limited frequency resources and deny Berca’s licence renewal for use by cellcos wishing to develop their mobile broadband offerings. ‘Companies that [fail to] commit to network construction [targets] should not be eligible to have their licences extended,’ he said.