According to Gatot S. Dewa Broto, a spokesman for the Directorate General of Post and Telecommunications, seven telcos have submitted applications to participate in the government’s forthcoming tender for 3G mobile phone licences. The companies which filed applications before the deadline are Telkomsel, Exelcomindo, Indosat, Telkom, Komselindo, Bakrie Telecom and Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia (formerly Mandara). The first six are well known to the Indonesian telecoms industry. However, Sampoerna Telekomunikasi is something of a dark horse. Formerly known as Mandara Seluler Indonesia, the company was taken over earlier this month by the Sampoerna Group which made its name as the largest cigarette producer in Indonesia. The Sampoerna Group, which is controlled by the Sampoerna family, has acquired an 80% stake in the operator and is seemingly intent on securing a UMTS concession.
The seven companies will each bid for three blocks of FDD 2×5MHz spectrum in the 2100MHz band, reserved for third-generation (3G) mobile services. Each company has handed over a cheque for IDR100 million (USD10, 526) and placed bonds worth IDR5 billion to register. The successful bidders that meet the pre-qualification criteria for the auction process will then be able to bid for the frequencies on offer. The bidding will be held over two days, starting on 7 February, and the winners will be announced on 14 February.