Indonesia is now ranked 147th in the world in terms of consumer download speeds. This is sadly lagging behind many other developing countries such as Myanmar and Bangladesh. Indonesia has an average speed of 3.87 Mbps, which is 77% lower than world’s average. The country with fastest internet connection, Hong Kong, tops the list with 72.84 Mbps.
Despite the low ranking, Indonesia has shown a significant improvement for the last two years, with more than 50% percent increment in download speed. The improvement is expected to continue with the arrival of 4G LTE in Indonesia.
Blazing fast 4G LTE connection
Indonesia’s mobile internet reached a new era when 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) was finally adopted in the country in November 2013. Internux, an internet service provider, brought the technology to Indonesia with an approximate investment of US$550 million. The company developed Bolt, a mobile hotspot router to provide internet connection for gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Internux claims that Bolt can reach up to 72 Mbps or around 10 times faster than the speed of current 3G technologies and this service is priced even cheaper than any current 3G data plan in Indonesia. However, Bolt only covers Jakarta and its surrounding cities including Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi and Banten.
Another company recently started providing another 4G service to capital city Jakarta. The home internet broadband service called FastNet Infinite is capable of hitting 100 Mbps. This service is carried by an internet service provider called First Media. Priced at Rp. 3 million (US$ 246) per month, this ultra-fast internet connection is obviously targeting high-end consumer.
Internet for the economy
Izumi Keiichi, President of Mitsui Indonesia, said that 4G internet would potentially support the nation in providing landscape for faster economic growth, boosting the gross domestic product (GDP) by 1-2 percent per year. Mitsui Indonesia is the partner of Internux in providing 4G LTE in Indonesia.
The benefit of faster internet for the overall economy may come in two ways.
First is the development of more internet-based businesses in the country. Indonesia’s internet users grew by 22% from last year to about 75 million. Out of which, more than 6 million users shop online and the number is only expected to grow with the increasing speed of internet connection in the country. This gives plenty opportunity and room to grow for Indonesian internet startups.
Furthermore, high-speed internet is also important in providing the essential infrastructure for other companies to grow.
The current 56.5 million small medium enterprises will benefit by strengthening their online presence while bigger companies may now have a more efficient communication and faster data transfer across different locations. Businesses save cost and time from making less phone calls and unnecessary traveling. For many multinational companies, reliable internet infrastructure is an important factor in choosing where to run their operations in the region.
This article originally appeared on Global Indonesian Voices, Vulcan Post’s Indonesia publication partner.
Also read: Sick of slow Internet speed? Come to Asia!