According to local press reports, the Indonesian government, through the Ministry of Communication and Information (KemKominfo/MCI), has again opened the 2.3GHz spectrum auction in the 2.360-2.390MHz range for 4G (and possibly also 5G) services.
This auction process is to be repeated because MCI cancelled last year’s 2.3GHz frequency auction – after the winners had been announced. This time round all operators can choose to get a 1x10MHz block, 2x10MHz blocks, or 3x10MHz blocks.
As reported by CommsUpdate, the aim of reopening the process was threefold: to give operators more frequencies (and to increase mobile network capacity), to improve QoS, and to speed up roll-out of infrastructure for LTE (and possibly also 5G). There’s also an opportunity for the government to optimise the potential for what is referred to as Non-Tax State Revenue, notably from the Right to Use Fee for radio frequency spectrum.
As we noted in January, despite the announcement in November 2020 that there had been three winning operators – Hutchison 3 Indonesia, Smart Telecom (Smartfren) and Telkomsel – the 2.3GHz spectrum auction process was cancelled and bid bonds returned to their bidders.
The KemKominfo/MCI statement at the time said that the process had been cancelled “as a precautionary and careful step from the MCI to align every part of this selection process with the provisions of laws and regulations relating to acceptance”.
It's hard to know how the country's operators feel about the delayed process. However, it seems likely that the various operators will again take part, although when the new auction will actually happen is unclear.