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Users in Indonesia’s new capital region enjoy faster mobile download speeds than most Jawa regions

Following the announcement of the new capital in 2019, Indonesia recently passed the Capital City bill to kickstart the construction of the new capital city — IKN Nusantara — ahead of the planned relocation from Jakarta Raya to Kalimantan Timur. The Indonesian government took this strategic step to address the economic inequality in Indonesia and relieve the burden on Jakarta and its neighboring regions in Java. 

In this insight, Opensignal examined the state of mobile network experience in Kalimantan Timur, Jakarta Raya and Jawa regions neighboring the former capital — to see how the new capital region stacks up across different aspects of mobile network experience.

Opensignal analysis shows that Jakarta Raya has an edge in mobile speeds. However, Kalimantan Timur was faster than the majority of Javanese regions. Our users in Jakarta Raya observed average download speeds of 17.5 Mbps, which is 1.2 Mbps (7.6%) faster than Kalimantan Timur. Meanwhile, our users in the new capital region saw average download speeds of 16.3 Mbps, which are 3.8-4.3% faster than next placed Banten and Jawa Timur, and 26.1% faster than Jawa Tengah, which places at the bottom of the list.

On average upload speeds, we found a greater difference between Jakarta Raya and Kalimantan Timur. While our users observed the fastest upload speeds of 8.6 Mbps in Jakarta Raya, followed by 7.6 Mbps in Banten. Kalimantan Timur placed in the middle of the table with averaging 6.5 Mbps — 2% faster than Jawa Timur and almost 20% faster than Jawa Tengah.

Opensignal also found that the experience of our smartphone users when streaming video over mobile connections in Kalimantan Timur garnered the same Video Experience rating as Jakarta Raya and most Jawanese regions. Our users across these regions enjoyed a Fair (40-55) Video Experience, except for Jawa Tengah. Jakarta Raya leads with 47.3 points (on a 100-point scale) in terms of scores, while Jawa Tengah places at the end of the list with 38 points.

We saw very close scores in Voice App Experience. Jakarta Raya fared 2.9 points higher than Kaminatan Timur, which found itself in the bottom half of the table with 74.6 points (out of 100) alongside Jawa Tengah (74.3). The Voice App Experience rating is same across Jawa and Kalimantan Timur, as all the regions place in the Acceptable (74-80) category for the quality of our users’ experience when using over-the-top (OTT) voice app services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger. 

In contrast to Video Experience and Voice App Experience, our users saw a greater variation in Games Experience across regions. With a lead of 6.6-9.7 points over Kalimantan Timur, Jakarta Raya and Banten are the only regions that place in the Fair (65-75) category for the quality of multiplayer mobile gaming, while others place one category lower.

A Fair Games Experience indicates that users found the experience to be 'average'. In most cases, the game was responsive to the actions of the player, with most users reporting that they felt like they had control over the game. The majority of players reported that they noticed a delay between their actions and the outcomes in the game.

Looking at the time our 4G users spend connected to 4G or better services, we found a stark contrast between the new capital region of Kalimantan Timur and Jawa regions. The scores in Jawa ranged from 95.3% in Jakarta Raya and 92.9% in Jawa Tengah, while Kalimantan Timur was less than two percentage points shy of the 90% mark.

These results show that Kalimantan Timur is better than most Jawanese regions in some aspects of mobile network experience, like average download speed, but definitely has some catching up to do when it comes to other elements like Games Experience. Our results also suggest that the overall experience of users in Kalimantan Timur could benefit from any improvement in time spent connected to higher quality 4G or newer services rather than older and less efficient 3G technology.

It is common for operators to focus their infrastructure and capacity upgrades in a country's largest and most densely populated region like Jawa. It allows them to target a large portion of their potential customer base in relatively compact areas. Also, tech-savvy consumers are generally concentrated in urban cities, making them excellent first adopters of new technologies. 

With the transfer of capital city status from Jakarta to Nusantara in the East Kalimantan region, the Indonesian government has accelerated the development of digital infrastructure, including the rollout of the new 5G network in the region. And as Indonesia's new capital progresses towards becoming a smart 5G city, users in the region are likely to benefit from operators' efforts to strengthen existing 4G networks, which will aid a smoother transition to next-generation networks. This could likely reduce the existing gap in the mobile network experience between East Kalimantan and the Jawanese regions.