Indonesian telecoms powerhouse PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) plans to invest IDR21.19 trillion (USD233 million) over the next four years to roll out a high speed network, dubbed ‘True Broadband’, which will enable users to connect at speeds of between 20Mbps and 100Mbps. The Jakarta Post writes that the operator aims to deploy True Broadband to 497 cities nationwide by the end of 2015. Telkom president Rinaldi Firmansyah told conference delegates: ‘By the end of 2015, we are targeting the connection of 13 million home passes with true broadband access. We aim to have an 80 percent subscription rate.’ According to the Telkom official, network rollout is already underway and has reached 1.7 million homes passed, stretching from Sumatra to Papua. Rinaldi hopes the high speed network will improve local competition in parts of the country where to date the telecoms access available to end users has been less well developed. ‘True broadband will also support the development of creative industries, especially the information and communication technology industry,’ Rinaldi said.
The project forms a keystone in Telkom’s plan to roll out a national backbone of ICT infrastructure built around optical fibre technology – the so-called ‘Nusantara Super Highway’, which comprises six rings covering Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara as well as Maluku island and Papua. The super highway is reportedly able to achieve data speeds of between 7Tbps-8Tbps. Further, the paper cites the Telkom president as saying that his company has completed a 26,299km fibre-optic backbone spanning Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Denpasar, Mataram and Kupang. Going forward, Rinaldi says Telkom is readying the ground for a new 5,693km submarine fibre link between Manado and Papua, which will pass Ternate, Sorong, Manokwari, Biak, Jayapura, Ambon, Fakfak and Timika. ‘The project is called the Sulawesi and Maluku, Papua Cable System (SMPS). We will begin in late of 2012 and expect to finish before the end of 2013,’ the official said, adding, ‘This is our own submersible cable, so we do not have to lease from other countries.’
Telkom’s resolve to bolster both its backbone and broadband capabilities is aimed squarely at supporting the group’s new strategic focus on data-based, rather than traditional voice-based communications services. In Rinaldi’s words: ‘We’ve moved from fixed, mobile and multimedia portfolio (FMM) to telecommunication, information, media and edutainment (TIME). To support the TIME business, we need infrastructure to provide high speed services, especially to meet growing video and internet connection demands.’ According to him, Telkom’s TIME services contributed roughly 9% of group revenues in 2011, but Telkom aims to increase this to 15% by 2015.