till early in 2021, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) made a controversial decision. Because it suddenly canceled the results of the 5G frequency auction, which the winner had previously announced a month earlier, in December 2021.
Kominfo argued, the step was taken as prudence and precision in order to align every part of the selection process according to Government Regulation Number 80 of 2015. Telkomsel, Tri, and Smartfren as auction winners also gave up on the decision while waiting for Kominfo’s new steps.
Suddenly, this decision drew various criticisms and disappointments from people who had been waiting for this fifth-generation cellular technology. A number of telecommunication observers have questioned how the state ministry cancels an auction process that has been announced transparently and there is even a winning bidder. Where the Ministry of Communication and Information also has a long experience of holding frequency auctions.
Build 4G LTE BTS Infrastructure
After deciding to cancel the 5G auction winner, Kominfo immediately took the next steps for it digital infrastructure development. Not 5G is a priority, but an equal distribution of 4G LTE Base Transceiver Station (BTS).
Because the acceleration of the construction of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) as infrastructure is considered to be one of the important pillars of implementing the acceleration of national digital transformation. Other pillars are harmonizing regulations, strengthening the digital ecosystem, and developing digital talent.
To speed up the distribution of 4G BTS, the Information and Telecommunication Accessibility Agency of the Ministry of Communication and Information (Bakti Kominfo) signed a contract at the beginning of the year.
“In accordance with the instructions of the President and the Minister of Communication and Information, BAKTI must initiate the construction of BTS as early as possible since the beginning of the year. This is because BAKTI has a high target mandate, having to build BTS in 7,904 villages/wards for 2 years (2021 to 2022) which is divided into 5 packages, “explained BAKTI President Director of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Anang Latief in a Virtual Press Conference for Signing BTS Infrastructure Umbrella Contracts. 4G 2021 in Jakarta, Friday (29/01/2021).
Anang Latief, Managing Director of BAKTI Kominfo said that his party received a mandate from the Ministry of Communication and Information to build BTS in 7,904 villages / wards for 2 years (2021 to 2022) divided into 5 packages. The signing of an umbrella contract for 2 of 5 packages with three consortia for the provision of 4G Base Transceiver Station (BTS) infrastructure.
“We got a very big task, we started a big job that was initiated last year, to sign two work packages, in total there are 5 packages,” he said.
He added that the two work packages were won by three consortia, namely Fiber Home, PT Telkom Infra and Multi Trans Data. Package 1 and package 2 cover the areas of Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and the Maluku Islands or abbreviated as package 1 and package 2 for non-Papua regions, totaling 2,700 villages and sub-districts.
“Hopefully with the signing of the cooperation agreement, Kominfo can start a noble job to ensure this digital transformation process can be started immediately and can be enjoyed by all sectors, by all people and the Indonesian nation,” said the Director of BAKTI, Ministry of Communication and Information.
Equitable 4G LTE Network Access
BAKTI Kominfo revealed that currently there are 15% or around 12,548 of the total 83,218 villages and sub-districts that have not been accessed by the 4G network. The Minister of Communication and Information has mapped this task to be completed together, 3,435 (villages and sub-districts) or 27% of it will be carried out by cellular operators and 73% or 9,113 will be done by BAKTI.
After the signing of this contract, the Fiberhome – Telkom Infra – Multitrans Data Partnership will immediately carry out the construction of 4G BTS in Package 1 and Package 2 for 2 years (2021 – 2022) and continue with operational and maintenance implementation of the 4G BTS network that has been built along with all devices and supporting infrastructure.
Package 1 covers 1,364 villages and wards consisting of 132 villages/wards in Sumatra (Area 1), 456 villages/wards in Nusa Tenggara (Area 2), and 776 villages/wards in Kalimantan (Area 3). Meanwhile, Package 2 covers 1,336 villages and wards consisting of 536 villages/wards in Sulawesi (Area 4), and 800 villages/wards in Maluku (Area 5). Apart from Package 1 and 2, there is Package 3 which covers 1,795 villages and sub-districts consisting of 824 villages / wards in West Papua (Area 6), and 971 villages / wards in West Central Papua (Area 7).
Of the 9,133 villages/wards that are included in the 3T area category, 1,209 of them already have BTS with 2G or 3G technology that need to be upgraded to 4G technology, of which 1,096 villages/wards are BTS built by BLU BAKTI and currently upgraded to 4G BTS, while 113 villages have BTS built by telecommunication operators who are currently in the process of upgrading to 4G.
“The remaining 7,904 villages have not had access to 4G services (unserved 4G) at all. 7,904 villages 3T unserved 4G will be built 4G BTS by the Ministry of Communication and Information through BLU BAKTI. Meanwhile, 3,435 non-3T villages will be built 4G BTS by telecommunication operators,” said Managing Director Anang Latif.
According to BAKTI data from the Ministry of Communication and Information, out of 83,218 villages in Indonesia, there are still 12,548 villages that have not got 4G signal access services. Of the 12,548 villages, 9,113 villages / wards are included in the 3T area and 3,435 villages are included in the Non-3T area.
The Indonesian version of this article can be read in Gizmologi.ID