Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI, aka KemKominfo) has announced the completion of refarming of the 2.3GHz band following the auction of frequencies in May 2021. With the MCI looking to improve the quality of digital cellular services through the more efficient use of spectrum in Indonesia, in July the minister of communications Johnny G Plate announced that refarming would take place from 14 July to 28 September involving ‘frequency changes at 15,577 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and carried out in stages in clusters in various regions’ across the country. The nine clusters were designated as: Riau Islands; Northern Sumatra; Central Java; Northern Sulawesi Banten, DKI Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi; West Java except Bogor, Depok, and Bekasi; East Java including Malang Regency and City, Kediri Regency and City, Blitar Regency and City, and Madiun Regency and City; East Java including the City of Surabaya, the Regency/City of Mojokerto, and the Regency of Sumenep; and Papua, Maluku, and North Maluku.
The refarming process was carried out under plans agreed with domestic operators, including Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) and Smart Telecom (Smartfren) which won the 2.3GHz spectrum. 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 confirmed that refarming would also involve broadband wireless access (BWA) operator Berca Hardayaperkasa (trading as hinet), which is also a user of the 2.3GHz frequency band.