Telecoms minister asks operators to phase out 3G networks

6 Jan 2022

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI, aka KemKominfo) has reportedly asked the country’s incumbent mobile network operators (MNOs) to phase out 3G mobile technology in favour of bolstering 4G or 5G coverage for mobile data services. Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G Plate said: ‘This 4G signal is the backbone of our national communication. I’ve also asked the cellular operators to fade out 3G. Why is 3G being faded out instead of 2G? Because it’s a different user. 2G is voice communication, while 3G is data communication.’ However, local industry watchers note that the government will need to address how it could achieve this given that currently, some 83,218 villages/kelurahan are still not covered by 4G networks, while out of 12,548 villages/kelurahan, 9,113 are located in the Frontier, Remotest and Disadvantaged (so-called ‘3T’) areas.