Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) plans to sell off a spare 2×5MHz block of spectrum in the 2.1GHz band as it looks to push 5G deployments across the country.
In an interview with the Jakarta Post, the head of the Indonesian Telematics Society (Mastel) Sigit Puspito Wigati Jarot described the 2.1GHz band as the “sweet spot spectrum” from the previous generation, as it could be used by operators to boost their capacity in the face of escalating data demand.
While Sigit acknowledged that the total holding was fairly small at just 10MHz, the fact that it comprises blocks in the 1975MHz-1980MHz and 2165MHz-2170MHz frequency meant that “it is very likely that cellular operators will fight tooth and nail to win this part of the spectrum.”
Arif Angga, chair of Indonesian Internet Providers Association (APJII), noted that the technology has previously been used for mobile broadband but has now been designated a neutral frequency by the MCI, meaning that operators can use it to offer 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G services.
XL Axiata has already confirmed that it plans to bid for the spectrum, while Smartfren and Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison have indicated that they may also attempt to procure the holding to gain a competitive advantage.