New industry collaboration to improve connectivity in Indonesia and drive economic growth

Via Telecom Infra Project (TIP)

Jul 22, 2020

22 July 2020: As part of efforts to significantly improve connectivity in Indonesia, a new TIP Community Lab and center of excellence is launching as the first stage of a new, multi-year collaboration between the GSMA, TIP, the Indonesian government, Telkom University and mobile network operators (MNOs) to support the country’s ‘Making Indonesia 4.0’ program. This collaboration will seek to advance digital and economic growth in Indonesia through testing and validating standards-based TIP open and disaggregated network technologies in the Lab and in the field, advance the deployment of commercially viable solutions, build a local talent pool, and foster a robust and diverse telecoms ecosystem, including a startup economy. 

Indonesia is one of the GSMA’s Leading Nations in the Asia Pacific region and is strongly positioned to become a digital economy powerhouse in Southeast Asia. Improved connectivity is a critical component of the country’s digital revolution. Although there are currently 61 million Indonesians without access to the internet, by 2025 Indonesia is projected to be the third largest smartphone market in the world – and to have an additional 44 million citizens using mobile internet, on predominantly 4G services.

When the Telkom University TIP Community Lab opens in Q3 2020, it will bring MNOs in Indonesia together to work hand-in-hand with other TIP members. This Community Lab will allow participants to evaluate and adopt solutions developed by TIP Project Groups, and feed results and new requirements back into the TIP community for further development. The five MNOs that are preparing to participate in this Community Lab are Hutchison 3 Indonesia, Indosat, Smartfren, Telkomsel and XL Axiata. 

The goals for the Telkom University TIP Community Lab and the wider program include: 

  1. Evaluate and validate solutions developed by the TIP community to be adopted for deployment by MNOs. The first area of interest is the Radio Access Network, where MNOs will start testing and validating TIP community built OpenRAN solutions. In the future, testing will progress towards evaluation of disaggregation and virtualization within Transport and Core network domains as well. 
  2. Expedite transition from lab to field, and thereby, enable the MNOs and wider ecosystem to realize the social and commercial benefits of deploying end to end TIP led solutions in target locations, whether rural, peri-urban or dense urban. Results from lab trials and in-field deployments will be shared back with the TIP community to advance the development of new solutions for Indonesia. 
  3. Training to support the local Systems Integrator and MNO workforce to serve the ecosystem better. This training will enable the MNOs to access a greater diversity of technology solutions and providers. In addition, the Community Lab will train university students – creating a pipeline of future talent for the Indonesian workforce. 
  4. Provide workshops, hackathons and bootcamps to introduce new technologies and methodologies, to keep the ecosystem members informed of the latest developments and ideas, as well as lessons learned from other ecosystems. 

Dr Ismail, Director General of Kominfo said: "Finishing ICT infrastructure has become a common problem faced by developing countries. This problem becomes more difficult to overcome by countries with geographical challenges like mountains or archipelago as well as scattered rural populations. 

“To answer this problem, a tremendous amount of investment is needed not only in terrestrial or submarine fiber optics, but also in satellites. 

“Another solution could be in the form of breakthrough technology. With the existing technology, covering all populations will be very expensive. A new approach like Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) could be the alternative to make infrastructure more affordable. Most of the CAPEX required to deploy mobile broadband is associated with the RAN section. Any reduction in the RAN cost will meaningfully benefit the operators. 

“We welcome the initiatives started by GSMA, TIP, and Tel U to develop this technology. We hope that this glocal (global local) partnership could deliver local solutions to help finishing ICT infrastructure problems. This partnership will also promote collaboration between academia, industry, and MNO to harness the potential of future telco industry in Indonesia." 

Prof Dr. Adiwijaya, S.Si., M.Si, Rector of Telkom University said: “We are very pleased and grateful to be a part of this collaboration and to host the TIP Community Lab in Indonesia. The Lab will be the focal point for the development of innovative solutions and international collaboration between Telkom University, the Indonesia government, GSMA, mobile operators, and the broader industry. We look forward to working together to support the creation of a stronger, more connected Indonesia in the near future through the expansion of digital connectivity, new digital platforms and digital services.” 

Attilio Zani, Executive Director of TIP said: "We are delighted to be launching this new collaboration in Indonesia alongside some of TIP's key regional members, the Indonesian government, Telkom University and with our partners at the GSMA. We look forward to the cycle of development and testing of a new wave of innovative TIP community built solutions that can help improve connectivity in Indonesia and support the ambitions of the ‘Making Indonesia 4.0’ program.” 

Julian Gorman, Head of APAC, GSMA said: “The GSMA is proud to support the launch of this lab and industry collaboration initiative with TIP, Kominfo, Telkom University and the Mobile Operator. This initiative is a key step in harnessing the innovation and excitement of Indonesia’s digital economy, and positioning it as a regional and even global influencer in this era of mobile network technology. This lab will unleash potential for new network deployment, new mobile tech and services, jobs and exports for Indonesia. We will eagerly champion its progress.” 

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