Indonesian mobile operator Hutchison Telecommunications International has awarded Siemens of Germany a turnkey contract to roll out its nationwide wireless network. The Hong Kong-based firm declined to put a figure on the deal, but sources close to the company say it is worth ‘a mid-triple-digit multi-million amount’. Hutch said the German firm will also provide financing and network management services for a three-year period. The first phase of the rollout will see 2,000 cell sites deployed during the second half of 2006.
Hutch entered the fast growing Indonesian operator in March 2005 when it entered into an agreement to acquire a 60% stake in mobile start-up Cyber Access Communications (CAC), and committed to invest USD300 million into it. The other shareholder in the venture is Thai agribusiness conglomerate, the CP Group. CAC was awarded Indonesia’s first 3G licence in 2003 via a beauty contest, beating more experienced bidders including PT Tira Austenite and PT Astratel Nusantara. Under the terms of the licence, the company was required to develop 939 base stations by 2005, 1,557 by 2006 and 2,018 by 2007, but had still not launched services by the end of 2005. In May 2005 the government said that it was considering revoking CAC’s licence and re-issuing the 3G spectrum, but despite this the cellco said it would press ahead with its investment plan.