Indonesian wireless operator Mobile-8 Telecom has selected South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co to provide it with CDMA2000 1x and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A equipment in a deal thought to be worth USD375 million. In a statement, Samsung said it would provide the 3G upgrade by 2011, enabling Mobile-8 to offer advanced data-based services including video downloads. The cellco hopes the tie-up will help it in its quest to add 2.2 million new Fren customers this year, taking its total to four million by December. Sintawati Halim, the senior vice president of finance and procurement at Mobile-8, said the cooperation would ‘further enhance Mobile-8’s coverage area and increase its network capacity above 20 million by 2012’. As a result of the contract, coverage in Java and Bali is expected to rise from 70% to 90% by the end of the year, and national coverage is anticipated to climb from 42% currently, to 70%. Samsung previously supplied equipment worth USD120 million when Mobile-8 upgraded its network in 2003.
In January this year Mobile-8 Telecom announced that its IDR550 billion (USD66.7 million) initial public offering (IPO) will take place between 7-9 March. The bond will be listed at the Surabaya Stock Exchange (BES) on 16 March, the company said in a statement, and proceeds will be used to pay off its USD58.3 million debt to Samsung.