Indonesia is set to roll out its first 5G coverage in 2023, the Information and Communications Ministry said, with major cities and tourist destinations expected to be the first adopters of the technology.
In a ministerial decree, the ministry listed six provincial capitals on Java island, namely Serang, Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya, as well as the new capital city in East Kalimantan, for the first phase of 5G network roll out in the country.
The list also includes five locations marked for priority tourism development, namely Borobudur, Toba Lake, Likupang, Labuan Bajo, and Mandalika, as well as an unspecified manufacturing hub.
The ministry said 5G coverage will be expanded to other cities based on needs and demand.
The adoption of 5G technology has been deemed crucial for Indonesia’s growing digital economy, but telcos have been reluctant in going all out for the upgrade due to network ecosystem limitations and their priority to optimize existing 4G networks, which has not spread evenly throughout the archipelago despite widespread adoption of the technology in 2013.
The government also doesn’t seem to be rushing 5G, with an Information and Communications Ministry previously saying 4G cellular connection speeds are mostly sufficient. In addition, the ministry said that its focus is on rolling out internet access to some 13,500 remote villages that were still offline as of 2020.