Internet in Indonesia is Getting Cheaper, Spectrum Sharing Needs to Be Encouraged

Internet in Indonesia is Getting Cheaper, Spectrum Sharing Needs to Be Encouraged
Internet in Indonesia is Getting Cheaper (photo: envato elements)

In the past few years, the telecommunications sector in Indonesia has witnessed positive transformations propelled by technological advancements and heightened competition. One notable change has been the reduction in the cost of internet services per gigabyte (GB), rendering it more economically accessible for the broader populace.

According to the findings from Cable, a UK-based platform specializing in comparing prices for internet, television, and telephone services, the current average price of internet per gigabyte (GB) in Indonesia stands at US$0.28, or approximately Rp4,349 (exchange rate: Rp15,694). This marks a decrease from the previous 2022 report, which indicated a figure of US$0.46.

This places Indonesia in the 17th position globally, boasting one of the most economical average prices per GB. Encouraged by this positive trend, stakeholders within the domestic telecommunications industry are advocating for the encouragement of spectrum-sharing activities to further alleviate infrastructure deployment costs.

Merza Fachys, Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Telecommunications Service Providers Association (ATSI), observed that the telecommunications landscape has undergone substantial changes compared to previous years. The public’s preferences have shifted from Short Message Service (SMS) to data-centric services, resulting in a decline in operator revenues.

To address this challenge, Merza proposed spectrum sharing as a viable alternative. However, as of now, the realization of this practice has not materialized.

“Why has spectrum sharing not been implemented until now? Perhaps the intricacies of the process are not fully envisioned. Maybe the potential obstacles in the process have not been clearly outlined,” expressed Merza during his presentation on Monday, as quoted from Bisnis (13/11/2023).

As outlined in Law No. 11/2020 on Job Creation, regulations pertaining to spectrum sharing for future technologies, including 5G, are clearly defined. Merza has put forth a proposal for a pilot project focused on spectrum sharing in the new national capital (IKN).

In an innovative approach, Merza called on operators to proactively share all frequencies they possess, creating an expansive network comprising both 4G and 5G technologies in the new capital. With a cumulative frequency allocation of 452 MHz, each operator would be entitled to serve in IKN proportionate to their commercial standing.

This strategic initiative not only aligns with regulatory frameworks but also resonates with the President’s vision of transforming IKN into a smart city.