KemKominfo rows back on 3G phaseout call

12 Jan 2022

The Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI, aka KemKominfo) in Indonesia has clarified that it is still reviewing the case for phasing out 3G mobile services in the country, after the Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G Plate’s comments earlier this month calling on cellcos to ‘fade out 3G’. Now, MCI telecommunications standards coordinator Indra Utama has confirmed that the plan to shutter 3G services is still under review given that areas of the country do not yet have 4G Internet access. ‘The 3G network can already be served by 4G services. If both co-exist, it will be superfluous for the operator. However, we also have to look at which areas [still need 3G connections],’ Antara News quotes the official as saying. He explained that whilst 70,870 of 83,218 villages across the archipelago already have access to at least one 4G network, some 12,548 villages do not. Moreover, at least 9,113 villages are located in Indonesia’s outermost, remote, and underdeveloped (3T) regions and the rest, 3,435, are non-3T, he pointed out. In those areas, 3G services are filling the gap in terms of providing internet access to the population. ‘If the 4G network is not available yet, that means they still need 3G, and it will be maintained until 4G reaches those regions,’ he confirmed.