State of Mobile Networks: Indonesia (June 2018)

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.)

Report Facts

11,707,692,189
Measurements
1,235,257
Test Devices
2018-02-01 - 2018-05-01
Sample Period
Indonesia
Report Location

Highlights

LTE reach expands for most operators

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 leads in both 4G upload and download

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 snatches overall speed crown from Telkomsel

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.

Telkomsel dominates five out of seven award categories

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.

Awards Table

Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Upload Speed: 4G Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G

3

Indosat

Smartfren

medal medal

Telkomsel

medal medal medal medal medal

XL

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Performance by Metric

Download Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: 3G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: Overall

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.

Upload Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average upload speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Latency: 4G

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.

Latency: 3G

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.

Availability: 4G

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.

Regional Performance

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.

Legend: Indosat XL Smartfren Telkomsel 3
Region Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Upload Speed: 4G Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G
Bandung
Jakarta
Makassar
Medan
Semarang
Surabaya

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graph here

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Analysis

Since our last look at Indonesia six months ago, we've seen some of the same old trends continuing, as well as new trends being born. Access to 4G services continues to spread in the archipelago nation, reflected in the growth we are seeing in our LTE availability scores across Indonesia's operators. Telkomsel once again dominated our metrics, winning five out of seven awards categories, often by large margins. But we also saw Smartfren fully emerge from its 3G cocoon to spread its 4G wings. Not only did Smartfren again lead in our 4G availability metrics, it took our overall speed award away from Telkomsel.

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.

4G's reach keeps growing

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.

Telkomsel, Smartfren battle in the big cities

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.

Our Methodology

OpenSignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks as they go about their daily lives. We collect 3 billion individual measurements every day from tens of millions of smartphones worldwide.

Our measurements are collected at all hours of the day, every day of the year, under conditions of normal usage, including inside buildings and outdoors, in cities and the countryside, and everywhere in between. By analyzing on-device measurements recorded in the places where subscribers actually live, work and travel, we report on mobile network service the way users truly experience it.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the changing experience of consumers on mobile networks and, therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only. For more information on how we collect and analyze our data, see our methodology page.

For this particular report, 11,707,692,189 datapoints were collected from 1,235,257 users during the period: 2018-02-01 - 2018-05-01.

For every metric we've calculated statistical confidence intervals and plotted them on all of the graphs. When confidence intervals overlap for a certain metric, our measured results are too close to declare a winner in a particular category. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

©2018 OpenSignal, Inc. All rights reserved.

OpenSignal, Inc retains ownership of this report including all intellectual property rights, data, content, graphs & analysis. Reports produced by OpenSignal, Inc may not be quoted, reproduced, distributed, published for any commercial purpose (including use in advertisements or other promotional content) without prior written consent.

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