West Papua’s Kota Sorong enjoys the best quality of mobile video streaming in Indonesia

With smartphones being the primary screen, and wireless internet the preferred mode to access content online in Indonesia, video streaming on both global and local platforms has been expanding across the country. This puts Indonesian operators in the prime position to provide consumers with quality video streaming services and to offer bundled packages (fixed and mobile data and video on demand services). But how good is the video streaming experience on Indonesian mobile networks?

Typical mobile Video Experience in Indonesia ranges from Fair to Very Good
In our recent State of Mobile Network Experience report 2020, we saw Indonesia upgrade its national Video Experience rating from Fair to Good. In this analysis we examined 44 of Indonesia’s largest cities to see how they compared in our measure of users’ mobile Video Experience (on a 100-point scale), based on a combined score for all national operators across different network technologies. Our analysis looks at the real-world video experience across a range of content delivery networks, using dedicated video streaming tests, to reflect the true experience of users.

Our users in West Papua’s Kota Sorong enjoyed the best quality of mobile video streaming in Indonesia, followed by users in Maluku Islands’ Ambon and in Papua’s Kota Jayapura — all three of which were in the Very Good rating category. This means that our users in these three cities, on average, experienced faster loading times and only occasional stalling compared to the rest of the cities.

However, overall we found that the typical urban Video Experience in Indonesia ranges from Fair (40-55) to Very Good (65-75), depending on the location. The vast majority of our users in cities enjoy a Good Video Experience.

Users in 40 cities perceived a Good Video Experience, with scores between 55-65 points, which means that many of our urban Indonesian users enjoy an acceptable experience when streaming mobile video at lower resolutions, but loading times can still be slow and stalling, especially at higher resolutions. At the top of our list in the Good rating category is Tarakan, the capital of Kalimantan, followed by Manado, and Sulawesi's Gorontalo.

It was noticeable that none of the Javanese cities landed in the top 10. The highest scorer in Java, Kota Bekasi (60.3), appeared in the 19th slot, followed by Surabaya and Kota Badung in the 22nd and 26th slots respectively. Indonesia's capital and megalopolis Jakarta placed even lower, in 28th position. In fact, if we look at all of Indonesia's largest cities, we see a similar trend. Makassar, Palembang, Medan, Tangerang Selatan and Kota Tangerang all fall outside the top 10.

Lastly, at the bottom of our chart was Banten’s capital Kota Serang, making it the only city measured where our users perceived a Fair Video Experience, which means the quality of video streamed was marked by slower loading times and prolonged stalling, especially at higher resolution (HD).

But why does the mobile Video Experience improve the further away users are from the densely populated urban centers of Indonesia? What we're most likely seeing are dynamics related to competition and demand. Incumbent Telkomsel is already Indonesia's dominant operator, but as we look beyond the major population centers of the country, that dominance in terms of market share is more pronounced. Our latest report on Indonesia shows that our users connecting with Telkomsel see the best mobile video streaming experience: it was the only Indonesian operator to achieve a Good Video Experience rating at a national level and Very Good rating at a regional level.

Demand also plays a huge role in the typical everyday consumer experience. The more users engage in data-heavy video streaming activities, the more network capacity is stretched, which can bring down the quality of video streamed. Although, in general, operators tend to concentrate their network and capacity upgrades in the big cities, often those improvements can't keep ahead of the ever growing demand of data consumption in a densely populated, tech-savvy metropolis.