In order to accelerate the digital transformation process, Indonesia needs to phase out 2G/3G spectrum and encourage 3G users to migrate to newer networks.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is currently working on improving people’s mobile experience. The 5G deployment which was carried out on May 27, marked a significant increase, after the Ministry of Communication and Informatics conducted an auction for the 2.3 GHz frequency band.
Unfortunately, according to an analysis from mobile analytics company Opensignal, Indonesia is not yet mature enough to be able to carry out this digital transformation. Even though 5G has been implemented, in fact there are still many people who have not migrated to 4G. OpenSignal noted, there are 67.5% of users who do not subscribe to 4G and choose to use 3G.
Of course, this can slow down digital transformation in Indonesia. The main factor that many people still use 3G is not because of the problem of coverage, but because of their own choices. Therefore, the old network spectrum needs to be removed, so that people can evolve to newer innovations.
Several operators in Indonesia are known to still rely on the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands to provide 2G and 2100 MHz to support 3G. Meanwhile, other operators have started to renew parts of the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz bands for 4G.
In line with that, the frequency auction by Kominfo is also carried out not only to implement 5G in the future, but also to accelerate 4G cellular network infrastructure. Apart from Telkomsel which utilizes spectrum for 5G deployment with bandwidth 30 MHz in the range of 2,300 MHz to 2,330 MHz, Smartfren uses it to increase the capacity and quality of existing services.
If all operators can upgrade their 2G/3G spectrum to 4G services, this will greatly help accelerate network deployment. It can also bridge the existing digital divide, thereby promoting positive socio-economic development.