Indonesia's Communications and Informatics Minister Johnny G. Plate: Unlocking the Nation's Digital Potential
2022-03-24 Author:Reporter: Shena Agusta Click:
Indonesia's Communications and Informatics Minister Johnny G. Plate: Unlocking the Nation's Digital Potential - ztetechnologies
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Indonesia's Communications and Informatics Minister Johnny G. Plate: Unlocking the Nation's Digital Potential

Release Date:2022-03-24  Author:Reporter: Shena Agusta  Click:

Telecommunication is a crucial engine to accelerate economic growth. Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communications and Informatics of the Republic of Indonesia, shares with us the plans to advance 5G in the country as well as the steps taken to advance digital connectivity across Indonesia. 

As we all know, technology continues to evolve and we are currently entering the era of 5G network. We all expect that the 5G network will accelerate digital transformation and consequently boost economic growth all across the industries. As of 2021, we have seen a few operators launching 5G network within the country, however, in comparison to other countries within the region, the scope of the 5G network in Indonesia is still considered limited. Could you tell us more about the plans formulated by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics to expand the 5G network across the archipelago?
As of now, the 4G network is still the backbone of telecommunication network in Indonesia, however, we have recently also started deploying 5G network. We plan to accelerate the deployment of 5G network to unlock the growth potential across multiple industries. Starting from the second semester of 2021, three of our national cellular operators, namely Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata, have received government approvals to commence their commercial 5G service within the country.

This 5G commercial service will be available in selected residential areas and hotspots in 13 cities, such as Medan, Batam, Pekanbaru, Palembang, Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya, Denpasar, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan dan Makassar. This 5G "Experience" will also be held at the Mandalika MotoGP 2022 and indeed at the G20 summit this year. 

To support the 5G network, we are now preparing various spectrum bands through the farming and refarming of frequency spectrum in all levels of bands—in low band, capacity band, and super high band.

As the largest country in ASEAN with a vast landscape and topography, it is quite challenging for Indonesia to widespread the telecommunication infrastructure all across the country. The ambitious BAKTI program designed by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics is set out to achieve telecommunication connectivity across the archipelago. What can you share with us regarding the implementation of the 4G network for the aforementioned BAKTI program in the 3T zone in Indonesia?
Indonesia, as one of the world's largest archipelago with a unique topography, landscape and a population of more than 273 million inhabitants, will inevitably have to face challenges in advancing digital connectivity across Indonesia, particularly in the outermost, frontline and less developed regions. In order to provide a robust internet connectivity, we will be taking crucial steps to advance Indonesia's digital connectivity, particularly in the frontier and rural regions.
Providing connectivity has been proven to improve digital entrepreneurship and the welfare of the people, particularly among the small and medium sized businesses.
An example of such successful digital entrepreneurship in the rural area can be seen in the story of a West Papuan young man, Simon Tabuni, who has been using digital platforms to collaborate with 60 farmer groups and 525 individual farmers to sell their fruits and vegetables online. Thus, adoption of connectivity technology has the ability to uplift livelihood in many areas throughout Indonesia.

Another priority initiative by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics is the Analog Switch Off/ASO (Migration to Digital TV). Once this has been established, how do you imagine frequency spectrum would help the development of ICT infrastructure, such as the 5G in the rural areas, and 5G for public safety?
As a result of broadcast Analog Switch Off (ASO), 112 MHz digital dividend in 700 MHz spectrum will be available to support 4G and 5G technology in Indonesia on top of coverage band and super high band spectrum. We are currently preparing frequency spectrum balance sheet to anticipate the fast growth of telecommunication and digital technology in Indonesia.

How do you envision the development of the ICT industry in Indonesia in the next 5 years? What role do you hope a technology provider company, such as ZTE, will take on?
As the 4G and 5G networks continue to grow in the next 5 years, the usage of 5G will also broaden and vary, and this will certainly affect the ICT industry in Indonesia. We therefore plan to continue to expand the commercial 5G network.
This expansion of the 5G network is aligned with Indonesia's digital transformation agenda, which aims to unlock the digital potential of the entire nation, as outlined in Indonesia's Digital Roadmap 2021–2024.
It is also imperative and we certainly encourage global technology companies to comply with 35% of local content (local assembly and manufacturing) of 4G and 5G ICT system and devices, to support an inclusive and resilient digital breakthrough, and innovation in Indonesia.
Indonesia market is very big now. We are expecting billions of dollars of investment in Indonesia. I personally invite technology companies such as ZTE which is already in Indonesia, and also already working closely with the Ministry of Communications and Informatics to do more, invest more, and to improve collaboration between Indonesia and China.

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