XL Axiata technician is checking on the base transceiver station in Labuhan Badas, Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara on Aug. 28, 2019. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)
SMEs, Companies Can Benefit from 5G Deployment: Ciena
BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA
NOVEMBER 23, 2020
Jakarta. The deployment of the 5G network will come in handy for small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, as well as large-scale businesses, according to Ciena, an American network equipment and software service company.
Anup Chagaroth, Ciena's chief technology officer for Asia-Pacific and Japan, said the lightning-fast mobile network helps propel digital transformation for SMEs, which account for 60 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product.
"SMEs are the backbone of Indonesia's economy. Over time, the majority of those enterprises will be digitized, and 5G is the key enabler for this digital transformation," Anup told the Jakarta Globe in a recent interview.
While some SMEs may be less tech-savvy, the Covid-19 pandemic has made these small-scale businesses aware of the importance of having a digital presence to reach out to more customers. Even so, it still requires the government to provide funding to speed up SMEs' digital transformation, Anup said.
Anup highlighted larger-scale enterprises—particularly those in manufacturing and financial services—could also benefit from the 5G implementation. The manufacturing industry is eyeing the 5G-driven internet of things (IoT) for automation and better efficiency. In comparison, financial services rely on a mobile workforce, which would require an efficient, wireless network.
"In Indonesia, fixed broadband penetration is very low compared to other markets. Hence, 5G becomes a good way for enterprises to connect over a wireless broadband infrastructure rapidly," Anup said.
Companies with branch offices require a fairly extensive IT infrastructure. 5G allows companies to have a centralized data center. Thus, they can simplify this infrastructure and even slash their IT expenditure by up to 50 percent.
"5G application is highly dependent on the 5G infrastructure. If you do not build a network with a high-performance infrastructure from day one, you will be held back as to what you can do with 5G," Anup said.
When Will Indonesia See 5G?
It is still a long way to go to Indonesia to see the next-generation mobile network finally. The country is still working on the 4G network and base stations across the archipelago.
According to Anup, metropolitan areas such as Jakarta will most likely get the first taste of 5G by the end of 2022. Before that, the government will have first to auction off the spectrum or allocate a portion of the mobile operators' frequencies. In Indonesia, fixed-satellite services are the current main user of these frequencies.
"The auction for the spectrum in Indonesia will most likely occur in late 2021 or early 2022. The infrastructure buildout for metropolitan areas will kick off in mid to late 2022. But, the larger-scale roll-out will be beyond that," Anup said.
Nonetheless, the coronavirus outbreak may cause a setback on the 5G implementation in Indonesia, with the government mostly focusing on alleviating the pandemic for the year ahead.
Humans vs. Machines
With the automation-enabling 5G, companies will most likely rely on automated devices and machines to carry out their tasks. This brings up the question if machines will eventually replace human labor. In response, Anup assured the technological advancement would not drive people out of jobs.
"It is not that people are getting laid off, but the value that they bring to the service provider changes from physical work to running software and utilizing their brain," Anup said.
"It is a change of function of the people rather than them losing their jobs."