Bakrie Telecom awarded international calls licence

18 Sep 2007

The Indonesian government has awarded Bakrie Telecom a licence to operate international fixed line call services, writes Dow Jones citing a senior government official. The Director General of Post and Telecommunication, Basuki Yusuf Iskandar, said the company had met with the terms and conditions required to offer such services, although as a prerequisite of the award it will be required to build a fixed line gateway to allow international calls to be made. Iskandar said the company has five years to roll out its first network and international gateway connecting Batam, Singapore and the US. He went on to say that the US operator Verizon Communications is assisting in the development of the gateway, although he did not provide details. The operator is also obliged to deploy a network linking Kupang to Darwin in the second five-year period. If Bakrie fails to meet the terms laid down by the government in the first instance, it could face a fine. Iskandar did not specify how big the fine would be, but estimates that Bakrie will need to spend IDR222.9 billion (USD23.7 million) in years one to five to build the international gateway and establish a viable business. Two other mobile network operators – PT Excelcomindo Pratama and unlisted PT Natrindo – failed to get a licence.