Batam, Riau Islands. Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said Indonesia hopes to make Asean states roaming-free, bringing comprehensive and integrated mobile phone coverage throughout the region by 2014.
“I want this [roaming-free Asean] quickly. It may be achieved in the next two years,” Tifatul said during an event in Batam on Saturday.
He added that roaming-free would not only lower the costs of cell phone conversations between citizens of different Asean member states, but also become a viable solution for Indonesians living in border areas who have difficulty receiving signals from Indonesian mobile operators.
As an example, Tifatul said that Indonesians living near Singapore often get signals from Singaporean mobile operators instead of their local carriers, resulting in extra charges.
“Singapore raises 3G towers, while ours are only 1G,” the minister said.
Tifatul said he would ask Indonesian mobile operators to strengthen their signals in border areas so as to protect residents from unnecessary costs.
He said 94 percent of Indonesians were now covered by mobile networks.