Indonesia is a huge country dominated by a huge operator, Telkomsel. But the country's smallest nationwide provider is beginning to make its mark. Smartfren has grabbed another OpenSignal award from Telkomsel since our last Indonesian report, and it continued its impressive form in our 4G availability results. Despite Smartfren's hard-fought wins, though, Telkomsel remains the operator to beat in most of our metrics. Parsing more than 11 billion test results collected by 1.2 million users, we compared the 3G and 4G experience offered by Indonesia's five national operators. (Click here for an Indonesian language version of this report.)
Indonesia’s already impressive LTE reach just kept growing over the last six months. Four of Indonesia's five operators saw increases in our 4G availability metric since our last report. The one exception was Telkomsel, which saw its availability score hold steady at just below 70%.
Telkomsel won both OpenSignal's 4G download and upload speed awards, averaging 12.9 Mbps and 7.3 Mbps in each category respectively. In 4G download, though, Smartfren has made a big surge since our last report. The LTE-only operator's average speed increased 44% to 9.8 Mbps in our measurements, pushing it past XL into 2nd place.
Smartfren's 3G network shutdown was complete by this report period, leaving it only with 4G to showcase its mobile data services. It performed admirably, winning our 4G availability award for the second time in a row. That, combined with its growth in 4G speed, allowed Smartfren to leap over Telkomsel in our overall speed metric.
Smartfren may be gaining ground, but Telkomsel remains the leading operator across our metrics. Telkomsel not only took three of our four speed prizes, but it also monopolized our latency awards.
|Download Speed: 4G||Download Speed: 3G||Download Speed: Overall||Upload Speed: 4G||Latency: 4G||Latency: 3G||Availability: 4G|
This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.
This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users.
This metric shows the average download speed experienced by OpenSignal users across all of an operator's 3G and 4G networks. Overall speed doesn't just factor in 3G and LTE speeds, but also the availability of each network technology. Operators with lower LTE availability tend to have lower overall speeds because their customers spend more time connected to slower 3G networks.
This metric shows the average upload speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.
This metric shows the average latency for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.
This metric shows the average latency for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.
This metric shows the proportion of time OpenSignal users have an LTE connection available to them on each operator’s network. It's a measure of how often users can access a 4G network rather than a measure of geographic or population coverage.
This chart shows the regional winners in each category OpenSignal measures. Click on the icons to see a more detailed graph showing each operator’s metrics in a particular region.
|Region||Download Speed: 4G||Download Speed: 3G||Download Speed: Overall||Upload Speed: 4G||Latency: 4G||Latency: 3G||Availability: 4G|
For this report we examined 11.7 billion measurements from 1,235,257 mobile devices to examine the 3G and 4G experience offered by Indonesia's five major operators: Hutchison's 3 (Tri Indonesia), Indosat Ooredoo, Smartfren, Telkomsel and XL Axiata. In addition to analyzing our metrics on a national level, we expanded our metro analysis of Indonesia to include two new cities outside of Java. Let's start first with the metric with the most momentum: 4G availability.
Four of Indonesia's five nationwide operators saw their 4G availability scores improve since our last report. Simply put, this means consumers had more access to 4G connections than they did six months ago. We recorded the biggest growth in availability on 3's network, a jump of more than 4 percentage points, but Indosat, Smartfren and XL all saw bumps of a least 2 percentage points in their scores. Smartfren remained the runaway leader in this category, reflecting its status as a 4G-only provider. Smartfren maintained a big 9-percentage-point lead over its nearest rival in our 4G availability metrics, but other operators managed to close the gap somewhat. 3 has passed the 80% availability mark in our measurements, while XL passed the 75% threshold.
The only operator for which we didn't record any improvement in LTE reach was Telkomsel, which saw its 4G availability hold steady at just under 70%. As a result Telkomsel fell to last place in our 4G availability rankings. But while the operator may have underperformed in availability, it stood out in the rest of OpenSignal's categories.
For the second report in a row, Telkomsel had a big lead over its competitors in our 4G download speed measurements. Its average tested download speed of 12.9 Mbps was more than 20% faster than its nearest rival. That said, Smartfren made some impressive 4G speed gains since our December report. Its average LTE download of 9.8 Mbps allowed it to leap over XL into the second-place slot in our measurements. Our results show Indosat's 4G download speed also improved, but 3, Telkomsel and XL all saw their download speeds fall over the last six months. In the global scheme of things, all of Indonesia's operators are still well short of the global 4G download average of 16.9 Mbps, as measured in our latest State of LTE report.
Telkomsel didn't just land at the top of our 4G download speed rankings, it took first prize in 4G upload speed and 3G download as well. Telkomsel's average 4G upload of 7.3 Mbps was more than 2 Mbps faster than XL's and 3's averages in our measurements, and more than double those of Indosat and Smartfren. As Indonesia's mobile consumers move more toward creating content (such as video sharing) and away from consuming content (web surfing), 4G upload is becoming a critical metric. In our 3G download category, Telkomsel again made short work of its competition. Its average HSPA download of 5 Mbps was not only more than 2 Mbps faster than its competitors' scores in our measurements, it was also nearly a megabit faster than the global average of 4.1 Mbps.
The only one of our speed categories Telkomsel didn't win was overall download speed, which measures the typical everyday speeds our users experienced across their operators' mobile data networks. In this metric, Telkomsel was hurt by its lagging 4G availability, while Smartfren was helped by its leading 4G availability and increased 4G speeds. Our results show that Smartfren jumped over Telkomsel into first place in our overall speed rankings with an average download of 9.8 Mbps compared to Telkomsel's average download of 8.4 Mbps. We're really starting to see the changing technology dynamics in Indonesia at play. Late last year, Smartfren shut down its 2G and 3G networks completely, leaving LTE as its sole option for mobile services. Consequently Smartfren has built out its 4G footprint to cover the places it had previously served with CDMA networks. Even though Telkomsel had the faster 3G and 4G speeds in our measurements, Smartfren was able to provide our users with a 4G connection more often, which ultimately gave it an edge in our overall speed results.
Our final two metrics were also wins for Telkomsel. Latency measures a network's response time — the lower the score, the faster web pages load and the less lag experienced in real-time communication apps like video chat. Telkomsel won our 4G latency award with a response time of 43.5 milliseconds as well as our 3G award with a latency of 81.2ms.
The winners of our national metrics were also the winners in most of the six cities we analyzed. Smartfren won our 4G availability awards in all six metro areas, while Telkomsel ran the table in 3G speed and both latency categories. But there were some notable upsets in our other regional metrics.
In 4G download speed, Smartfren beat Telkomsel in our Surabaya tests, and the two operators drew for the 4G speed award in Sulawesi's largest city Makassar. Meanwhile in our 4G upload speed metric, XL and Telkomsel tied for first place in Makassar. In several cities, we also recorded much faster LTE speeds — both download and upload — than the national averages. Our measurements show Telkmosel's 4G download speeds topped 19 Mbps in both Java's Bandung and Sumatran metropolis Medan, while Smartfren's 4G downloads exceeded 17 Mbps in Surabaya.
Our most contested metric on the city level was overall download speed. Smartfren may have won that award nationally, but Telkomsel showed that it was a force to contend with in Bandung and Medan, where it won our overall speed awards respectively by 4-Mbps and 5-Mbps margins. In Surabaya, Smartfren took the overall speed crown with a whopping 6-Mbps lead, and it won the award in capital Jakarta as well. In the remaining two cities, Makassar and Semarang, the two operators were close enough in our overall speed measurements to produce statistical draws.
The close contest in overall speeds throughout the streets and buildings of Indonesia's big cities is perhaps the best indication of the larger battle to come — one that will be fought between two extremes. Telkomsel is a global giant whose huge subscriber numbers exceed the population of most countries. Smartfren is the tiny challenger of the group, with a fraction of Telkomsel's users and financial might, but it has focused its resources on 4G services in a big way. With no 2G or 3G networks to fall back on, Smartfren will live or die by its LTE network. So far that LTE service hasn't disappointed and is only improving.
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