The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and GSMA announced Telkom University in Indonesia will host the first TIP Community Lab in Southeast Asia, which is scheduled to open this quarter.
In a joint statement, TIP and GSMA said a multi-year collaboration with the government and five mobile operators aims to significantly improve connectivity in the country and support its Making Indonesia 4.0 industrial programme.
Hutchison 3 Indonesia, Indosat Ooredoo, Smartfren, Telkomsel and XL Axiata committed to using the lab to evaluate and adopt products and services developed by TIP project groups. They will feed results back into the community for further development.
In a briefing, TIP global head of engagement Vishal Mathur explained there is a massive need to continue to connect 61 million Indonesians who lack internet access.
He said operators and vendors must acknowledge much more investment, both capex and opex, is needed to drive a new level of connectivity in Indonesia. This requires backing from the collaborative community and government.
Mathur said another challenge is the current supply chain is becoming more fragile, with the sector consolidating across a number of markets.
“What we need to do is look for new innovation and expansion of the supply chain, including within the local industry in Indonesia to drive the next wave of development.”
In addition to the Community Lab, the initiative will support OpenRAN trials and rural deployment in areas covered by the ITU’s USO fund
Indosat detailed plans in March to collaborate with TIP and GSMA to run the first field trials on OpenRAN technology in Asia. At the time, the operator also committed to working with the wider industry in Indonesia to set up a TIP Community Lab.
Julian Gorman, head of APAC at GSMA, said the initiative is a key step in harnessing the innovation of Indonesia’s digital economy and positioning it as a regional, and even global influencer: the lab will “unleash potential for new network deployment, new mobile tech, and services, jobs and exports for Indonesia”.
The project will focus on testing and validating standards-based TIP open and disaggregated network technologies in the lab and field. Goals include advancing deployment of commercial equipment, building a local talent pool, and fostering a diverse telecoms market.
RAN is the initial focus, with work on transport and core networks planned in future.
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