Indosat testing LTE; Bakrie acquires local 4G provider

25 Aug 2011

Indonesian telco Indosat is gearing up for the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the country, and is partnering with ZTE to test the fourth-generation technology in a new laboratory at the Bandung Institute of Technology’s (ITB). Local press reports say Indosat has commissioned a purpose built Indosat Innovation Lab at ITB for R&D into LTE and has already demonstrated a maximum download data speed of 107Mbps.

In a separate development, unconfirmed reports say Indosat rival Bakrie Telecom has acquired local 4G operator PT Reka Jasa Akses (REJA) through its investment company PT Capital Managers Asia, as part of its own plans to enter the national 4G sector. Industry watchers are in broad agreement that the decision confirms Bakrie’s intentions to get into the advanced mobile internet segment in the near future. Bakrie is committing a total USD50 million for the takeover – USD12.5 million for the purchase itself, and USD37.5 million to develop REJA. It is understood the smaller player is a niche 4G company with 630 customers for its 4G packages. However, it holds a national operating licence – something that is very attractive to Bakrie. Acquiring REJA gives the telco enough additional bandwidth to expand its mobile broadband business countrywide.

Indonesia, Bakrie Telecom (BTel), Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison (IOH)