Word of 4G LTE roll outs has been plentiful these past few years. The government, through the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, has aimed to wrap up regulations on this technology by the end of this year at the latest. Telkomsel, which had ran a trial for 4G network during the APEC Summit in Bali last year, is ready to deploy its own 4G network by the end of 2014 or early 2015. The company has chosen Bali as the first to receive the roll out.
Bali’s selection as the first region to enjoy 4G connection was based on the number of tourists from various countries. Bali after all remains one of the primary tourist destination in the country. After Bali, there would be six major cities which will have LTE rolled out which are Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Makassar, Yogyakarta, and Manado within the first quarter of 2015.
As Ma’sud Khamid, Telkomsel’s Sales Director, stated, “We picked Bali because there are so many visitors from overseas, so they will be able to enjoy the 4G service. This is part of Telkomsel’s efforts to show the world that Indonesia has applied modern telecommunication technology.”
The high enthusiasm shown by people is unfortunately in contrast with the government’s readiness in preparing the regulations for operators. As we reported previously, the government has not finished those 4G-related regulations yet. Currently, the TD-LTE technology is what is being used by Bolt 4G which was launched at the end of last year, covering the Jakarta area and its surrounding cities.
The operators which provide 4G services should also be serious in providing their services to help the spreading of high speed internet service across Indonesia, considering that Indonesia is a mobile-first country. “The 4G is capable of sending data five-times faster than 3G network. At the moment, several smartphones in the market have been equipped with this technology,” Mas’ud added.
The latest Akamai report on the state of global Internet stated that the Indonesia’s experiencing a rapid growth in internet speed increase, currently averaging at 2.4Mbps. nevertheless, even in Asia that number is not significant enough to bring us to equal footing with Asia’s developed nations.
The 4G service in Bali will be an attempt to prove that Indonesia is embracing the latest in telecommunication technology, even as the arrival of 4G LTE in the country is considered quite late, seeing as Singapore for example, has had it since 2012.