Malaysia’s Maxis Communications has reiterated plans to launch a 2G and 3G mobile phone service in Jakarta and its surrounding areas in the second half of 2006 via 51% owned Indonesian subsidiary Natrindo Telepon Selular (NTS). In a recent interview Maxis CEO Datuk Jamaludin Ibrahim stated that by 2010 he hoped NTS would be the third largest Indonesian cellco, with a network covering over 50% of the Indonesia population. The country has enjoyed surging growth in recent quarters, and was home to some 43 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2005, a figure that is expected to reach approximately 100 million by 2010. Maxis has claimed it will spend USD1.3 billion on NTS by 2010, sharing the bill with fellow NTS shareholder Lippo Group.
Since buying NTS in January 2005 Maxis has continued to look abroad for growth. Later last year the Malaysian telco snapped up India’s Aircel Ltd, and speculation remains rife that it will seek to ramp up its Indian operations by acquiring Spice Communications.