A glimpse at our latest award table suggests that Telkomsel continues to be the dominant operator in Indonesia, but a lot of competition is brewing under the surface. Once again, Telkomsel wins all four out of seven awards outright that it had won last time — Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and 4G Coverage Experience. However, the operator's dominance on mobile network experience in Indonesia is at risk, as its nearest rivals in two of these categories are closing in. Since the previous report, Telkomsel’s users have seen significant growth in both the speed metrics but comparatively our XL and Indosat users saw slightly greater improvement in Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience, respectively. As a result, both the operators are within 1 Mbps of challenging Telkomsel on these respective measures.
On the other hand, Telkomsel is just one point away from challenging 3 for the top spot in Voice App Experience. In addition, Telkomsel has also reduced 3's lead on Games Experience by nearly a half since the last report, but 3 is still significantly ahead (6.6 points) in terms of the scores.
Turning to 4G Availability, our users across all Indonesian networks saw increases in the proportion of their time spent connected to 4G, except Smartfren. Our users of these four networks also reported a 0.1 point increase in 4G Coverage Experience, a measure of how mobile subscribers experience 4G coverage on an operator's network, with Telkomsel leading the scoreboard with a score of 8.5 points on a 10-point scale.
In terms of other important changes, 5G has arrived in Indonesia. While Telkomsel was reportedly the first operator to have launched commercial 5G services in limited parts of the country, Indosat has announced the rollout of 5G services in Makassar, Solo, Jakarta, and Surabaya. XL also claimed to have launched its 5G service in Medan, Depok, South Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya and revealed plans to expand the network beyond Java – targeting other cities including Medan, Banjarmasin and Makassar. Meanwhile, other national operators — 3 and Smartfren — are still preparing their networks to adopt the new technology.
While 5G is still at a nascent stage, insufficient access to 5G spectrum remains one of the critical challenges across operators in Indonesia. And to overcome the spectrum crunch, Indonesian operators and regulators are working together — either by repurposing some or all of the spectrum they are currently using for 3G and/or 4G networks or through network consolidations. To throw some light on the various strategies, in our recent insight, we found that Telkomsel has been refarming the 3G spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band to accelerate 4G and future implementations of 5G, and more recently, Kominfo has announced the completion of refarming of the 2.3 GHz band. Furthermore, Kominfo has also approved the proposed merger of 3 and Indosat, although with conditions that include Indosat's obligation to return 10 MHz of the spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band. In addition, Smartfren and XL have also been
reportedly looking for options and are open to consolidation.
While 5G is one of the key areas of focus for Indonesian operators, 4G plays a vital role because that's the network consumers spend most of their time connected to and will also be an essential foundation for the smooth transition to next-generation 5G networks.
In this latest report, we've analyzed the mobile network experience for Indonesia's five national operators — 3, Indosat, Smartfren, Telkomsel and XL, over a 90-day period starting August 1, 2021, and ending October 29, 2021. 5G measurements contribute to the overall results. Along with our national analysis, we've also examined the operators' scores in 10 regions of Indonesia.