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Indonesia Prepares for 5G with Frequency Auctions

Indonesia Prepares for 5G with Frequency Auctions

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has opened an auction for the use of 2.3 GHz radio frequency band in the range of 2,360-2,390 MHz.

These frequencies will be used by mobile operators to encourage the adoption of 5G networks in Indonesia.

In the auction, the ministry will select buyers according to the provisions in Article 11 of the regulation of the Minister of Communication and Information Technology number 9 of 2018. The process is one of the ways to support digital transformation in the economic, social, and government sectors because there are still radio frequency blocks that remain unallocated.

According to the Head of the Selection Team, Denny Setiawan, the process can only be followed by telecommunications operators who already have a Cellular Mobile Network Operation License.

“The selection is carried out on the basis of selection for the 2.3 GHz radio frequency band which consists of three blocks of radio frequency bands,” as quoted by Kompas.

He also said that further provisions regarding this selection will be explained in the 2020 2.3 GHz Radio Frequency Band User Selection Document, which contains an explanation of the implementation time, requirements, procedures, forms, and other matters that must be obeyed by bidders in the auction.

Denny went on to say that this selection documents can be submitted starting Tuesday 24th November 2020 at the Secretariat of the 2.3 GHz Radio Frequency Band User Selection Team at Wisma Antara Building. Complete information about the 5G frequency band auction can be found through this link.

Initially, the 2.3 GHz frequency was occupied by Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) telecommunication operators. However, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology revoked the frequency permits belonging to three BWA operators – PT First Media Tbk (KBLV), PT Internux, and Jasnita Telekomindo – in December 2018 and decided not to renew the licenses and to shift the frequency to cellular mobile services.

To further encourage the adoption of 5G networks in Indonesia, the government is also preparing three frequency options.

The first is the lower band, which has two options – 700 MHz and 800 MHz. The 700 MHz frequency is currently still used for analogue TV broadcasts which are planned to be migrated to digital. To implement 5G at this frequency, the Ministry is waiting for the Broadcasting Law to be passed first.

For the middle band, Indonesia initially had two frequency options, namely 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz. Both are currently used for satellite connections, such as Indovision and BRI. In the upper band, Indonesia has a frequency of 26 GHz. This frequency is still empty and is a strong candidate for 5G implementation if it is to be commercialised immediately.

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