The President of PT Angkasa Pura I for Bali Ngurah Rai Airport, Faik Fahmi confirmed that the 5G connection is now accessible for all passengers in Bali Airport. As of April 29, 2022, 5G coverage was open for access at Gate 3 and Gate 4 of the domestic terminal. In the coming months, there are plans to roll out complete 5G coverage across the airport terminals.
This comes as welcome news to both airport staff and travelers. The development comes as part of the airport management’s plan to uplift customer experience. Bali is a hub for digital nomads and remote workers who are often working while in transit. Bali is also positioning itself as a hub for international business, especially in the run-up to the G20 Summit in November.
Thousands of business travelers from ASEAN nations come to Bali on a regular basis to conduct meetings, operate import and export, and attend conferences and workshops. 5G has been widely available in Singapore since 2018. With flights daily to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong, it is imperative that Bali Airport scales its offering for travelers to play their part in keeping the wheels of the economy turning.
With airline giants like Emirates returning the the runway of Bali Airport, numbers of travelers are hoped to continue to rise. The roll out of 5G in the domestic terminal signals that Bali is eager to impress returning travelers, crews and airlines from around the world.
It is not just those who are working in transit that will benefit from the rollout of 5G coverage. Leisure travelers will have access to internet speeds of up to 300mbps which is faster than many broadband providers can offer in homes around the world. This means that travelers can stream shows, browse social media and hold undisturbed international video or audio calls while they wait for their flights.
Indonesia is hailed as having a good provision of internet connectivity, especially in Bali. This digital infrastructure has been attractive to remote workers and digital nomads who have set up semi-permanent residences in Bali.
The rollout of the 5G network across nine cities in Indonesia in late 2021 was seen as a huge stride in ensuring that Indonesia remained in the upper echelons of business and economic development in South East Asia.
At the end of 2021, Indonesia’s pilot 5G program was activated in Jabodetabek, Solo, Medan, Balikpapan, Surabaya, Makassar, Bandung, Batam and Denpasar. Indonesia ranks 67th in the world for its internet speed and cost of service. The average monthly broadband package costs $31, averaging $0.72 a megabyte. This positions Indonesia above Japan, Philippines, and China in terms of internet costs.
Internet speed tests have been carried out across the domestic terminal and speeds of up to 140mbps were recorded for download speeds with upload speeds hitting 90.6mbps.
The 5G rollout at Bali Airport has been coordinated by Telkomsel and Bali Airport management is now in talks to continue the expansion of the program. Both Telkomsel and Bali Airport management is working to ensure that data security remains of paramount importance during the expansion.
The global rollout of 5G has been met with concerns about public safety and whether the implementation of high-speed internet access in airports could pose a security threat.
In December 2021 Boeing and Airbus released a statement warning US authorities about the potential risks of 5G on aircraft. They cited that 5G interference could jeopardize an airplane’s capacity to fly safely. Leaders in the telecom space have said that 5G is safe and that stringent measures have been taken to ensure that there would be no implications for the aviation industry. In the coming years, we can expect to see a tightening of international legislation around 5G and the aviation industry.
While there is much work still being done, in terms of widespread coverage of 5G in Bali Airport, travelers can indulge in high-speed internet to pass the time before their flights.
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