Net1 suspends services citing ‘technical problems’

30 Jun 2021

Indonesian mobile operator Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia (STI, branded Net1) temporarily suspended services on 22 June, the Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI, or KemKominfo) has confirmed. The MCI said it received notification from the mobile operator that it was experiencing ‘technical problems that have an impact on the provision of Net1 services to customers’. While Net1 has assured its roughly 334,000-strong customer base that it will provide compensation and/or refunds for the interruption to services, TeleGeography notes that the outage follows the operator recently being issued a second warning from the ministry over its failure to pay overdue BHP frequency spectrum fees. Having sent a first warning on 1 May 2021 over total arrears amounting to IDR442 billion (USD31.1 million) – with a due date of 1 June – in the face of continued non-payment KemKominfo sent a second warning in mid-June, informing Net1 it must make good on the settlement of BHP IPFR obligations on or before 31 July or risk the suspension of its licence. The ministry noted that if Net1 fails to comply with regulation PP5 of 2021, it will issue a third warning on 1 August along with the notification of ‘temporary cessation’ of operations on the use of radio frequency spectrum. Whilst the two developments may be unconnected, it is noteworthy that KemKominfo has warned of its intention to ‘evaluate the termination of the utilisation of STI’, including ‘the evaluation of the granting of Radio Frequency Spectrum Permits, numbering, and other rights in terms of telecommunications operations’.