The Jakarta Post
Telkom University, an institution affiliated with state telecommunication firm PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), is hosting a local community lab that promotes research for shared telco infrastructure as the country aims to boost network connectivity and internet penetration.
The community lab is being run in partnership with global telecommunication collaborative Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).
The university’s president, Adiwijaya, said that having shared telecommunication infrastructure, such as the open radio access network (ORAN), could promote wider and faster connectivity.
“We are going to evaluate and validate solutions developed by the TIP community to be adopted for deployment by mobile network operators,” he said in a press briefing on Wednesday, adding that shared infrastructure could eventually lead to optimal and affordable communication services even in rural areas.
He went on to say that the lab would conduct training for university students and workers, as well as provide workshops and bootcamps to introduce new technologies and methodologies.
Unequal development in telecommunications infrastructure persists across different regions of the country, with network expansion programs still heavily focused in Indonesia’s more populated areas.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Indonesia 57th out of 100 countries in its Inclusive Internet Index, scoring lowest for internet affordability and availability.
The Indonesia chapter is TIP’s first community lab in the Southeast Asia region and the third in Asia after India and Japan, as well as the fourteenth globally.
Established in 2016, TIP has more than 500 telecommunication organization members from around the world.
TIP global head of engagement Vishal Mathur said that Indonesia’s internet penetration had risen by 25 million people since last year to 175 million, showing there was potential for further growth.
“Our goal in Indonesia is to drive forward scaling up of standard base network solutions. We want to show that it can be commercially scalable for social and commercial use in the country,” he said.
He went on to say that TIP was planning to collaborate with associations such as the Indonesian Cellular Telecommunications Associations (ATSI) and would also establish start-up accelerators with local players.
Indonesia’s telco operators, including Telkomsel, Indosat Ooredoo and Smartfren, have become TIP members. Vishal said that Indosat and Smartfren had kicked off technical trials for TIP’s ORAN.
Speaking as a keynote speaker at the briefing, the Information and Communications Ministry’s post and information resources and equipment director general (SDPPI) Ismail said that even with high internet penetration, Indonesia was still struggling with the last mile of connectivity.
“We hope this collaboration can accelerate the nation’s goal in providing internet for all,” he said. “Especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of connectivity.”
Meanwhile, the ministry’s telecommunications and information accessibility agency director, Anang Latif, said the initiatives from the lab could help the ministry achieve its goal to provide 7,904 villages and subdistricts in Indonesia with 4G by 2022.