We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Indonesia: Post and Telecommunications
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Infrastructure and Services > Post and Telecommunications


The national postal system was the most important means of communication for the majority of citizens. By the late 1980s, postal services were available in all subdistricts and in 844 transmigration areas. A substantial increase in the total number of post offices from about 2,800 in 1980 to 4,800 in 1989 improved the capacity and quality of this extensive communication network.

Indonesia had a sophisticated telecommunications system as a result of early investments in satellite communications. The first Indonesian Palapa satellite was launched in 1976 and was replaced in 1987 (Palapa was named for a vow of abstinence made by fourteenth-century prime minister Gajah Mada). A total of 130 earth stations supported long-distance direct dialing among 147 cities, and permitted international direct dialing to 147 countries. A total of 266 automatic telephone exchanges and 480 manual exchanges had a capacity of 1 million telephone lines, which was 80 percent utilized in 1990. New regulations in the late 1980s permitted secondary communications services, such as fax and cellular phone operations, to be supplied by private businesses in cooperation with the government's Directorate General of Radio, Television, and Film.

Television and radio communications were dominated by the government networks, Radio of the Republic of Indonesia (RRI) and Television Network of the Republic of Indonesia (TVRI). The satellite communication system brought television signals to every village in the country. In the early 1990s, there were some 11 million television sets or an average of 56 per 1,000 people nationwide. Broadcasting was received from eighteen governmentowned stations in major cities throughout the country and foreign cable news broadcasts and television programming via satellite. Starting in 1988, a private commercial television channel, Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia (RCTI), was permitted to operate in the Jakarta area, where it offered ninety hours of pay programs per week. In 1991 a second private television station started in Surabaya and in 1992 the government permitted six more stations to operate, expanding service in Central Java, southern Sumatra, Batam, and northern Sulawesi.

Radio broadcast stations and radio sets were numerous in Indonesia in the early 1990s. There were some 530 medium-wave, around 140 short-wave, and 28 FM privately owned stations and some 22 million sets or 112 sets per 1,000 people. Government-owned RRI, from its central station in Jakarta, offered national, metropolitan, and FM stereo domestic programming and daily foreign programs -- The Voice of Indonesia -- in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Malay, Spanish, and Thai. These programs were broadcast from stations in Jakarta and Padangcermin in Lampung Province.

Data as of November 1992

Last Updated: November 1992

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Indonesia was first published in 1993. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Indonesia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 128 of 210


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

(Rp) Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map