The Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI, aka KemKominfo) has launched refarming in the 2300MHz band as it looks to improve the quality of digital cellular services through the more efficient use of spectrum in Indonesia. Confirming the plan, Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G Plate was quoted recently as saying: ‘Refarming of the 2.3GHz radio frequency band is planned to take place nationally with the first step starting on Wednesday 14 July 2021 and will be completed in September 2021 at the latest’.
KemKominfo notes that the refarming process is being carried out in nine clusters under plans agreed with domestic operators, including Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) and Smart Telecom (Smartfren) which won 2.3GHz spectrum earlier this year. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, back in April KemKominfo issued Press Release No. 133 / HM / KOMINFO / 04/2021 to announce the results of the 2.3GHz radiofrequency auction, completed between 19 and 21 April 2021. The ministry’s tender was to allocate frequencies in the range 2360MHz-2390MHz with a block size of 10MHz each. At the close of the process, MCI confirmed that Telkomsel bid IDR176.9 billion (USD12.2 million) per block on the three lots of bandwidth offered – securing two – while Smartfren bid IDR176.5 billion to win the other slot. As such, Telkomsel secured blocks A and C, while Smart Telecom won block B.
In addition to the above, KemKominfo says the refarming exercise will also involve broadband wireless access (BWA) operator Berca Hardayaperkasa (trading as hinet), which is also a user of the 2.3GHz frequency band. IndoTelko cites the minister as explaining: ‘It starts in a cluster that covers the Riau Islands and is planned to be completed no later than September 2021 in a cluster that covers the East Java area. Overall, there are a total of nine clusters defined for the purposes of refarming the 2.3GHz radio frequency band’. The minister went on to say that the refarming of the 2.3GHz band is designed to support the optimal use of 4G services and also prepare the ground for the easy deployment of 5G technology.