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The time has come! Indosat, XL, and Telkomsel to introduce 4G in Indonesia

Following local mobile provider Telkomsel’s launch of its 4G long-term-evolution mobile internet service in Jakarta and Bali, the archipelago’s two other major telco players, XL Axiata and Indosat, followed suit with their own announcements, CNN Indonesia reports.

Indosat says it will soon commercialize its own 4G service, which is still currently in the preparation stage. All customers who want to enjoy 4G coverage will need to change their SIM cards. XL says it will commercialize its 4G service before the end of December, and is currently running a beta version. “We want to ensure that the 4G is beneficial to all, from the service to the tariff,” says Henry Vitello, public relations manager of corporate communications at XL.

In addition, customers must also ensure that their mobile devices operate within the 900 megahertz (MHz) spectrum. This spectrum will be the first to run the nation’s 4G service, followed thereafter by the increased 1,800 MHz spectrum. In the 900 MHz spectrum, Telkomsel and XL Axiata each have capabilities up to 750 MHz, while Indosat’s has resources in the 1,000 MHz frequency band.

Right now, the 1,800 MHz frequency band is only used for Indonesia’s 2G networks. Adita Irawati, vice president of corporate communications at Telkomsel told CNN Indonesia, “Currently, 90 million Telkomsel 2G subscribers use the 1,800 MHz range. The new service should be allocated where the customer is.” Indeed, integrating the service would enable telcos to more easily rollout future products. It would mean that new products for 2G and 4G could be released simultaneously regardless of users’ frequency bands.

Indonesia’s new minister of communications and information technology Rudiantara hopes the process will wrap up in January. CNN says Rudiantara warned local mobile operators to pay attention to the 4G ecosystem and to educate the public about the new technology. Rudiantara also asked that operators prepare service standards and strengthen the service centers to respond and answer customer complaints more efficiently.

See: Here’s how Indonesian telco Indosat is building the country’s startup ecosystem