Indonesia’s second largest telecoms operator PT Indosat has revealed it is investing the remainder of this year’s approximately IDR6 trillion (USD624 million) CAPEX to dramatically increase the number of Wi-Fi hotspots in service, as it looks to cope with a recent surge in data traffic. The Jakarta Post quotes the firm’s chief operating officer Erik Meijer as saying that Indosat has switched on no fewer than 3,500 Wi-Fi hotspots under its ‘Super Wi-Fi’ programme since launching it in September. ‘We plan to double the number of these access points, available across the country, by the end of the year,’ he said.
The Super Wi-Fi launch saw Indosat deploying points of access at 700 locations in Java and Bali, allowing its subscribers to log in via Wi-Fi automatically – i.e. without needing a user name or password. According to Meijer as the rollout continues apace, the operator ‘will be setting up our hotspots in outdoor areas and areas where traffic jams occur often, so that people stuck in those jams can still enjoy our Wi-Fi service’. The news comes as rival operator PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) announces the launch of a similar Wi-Fi rollout programme that will see it setting up 100,000 hotspots in 30 cities across all major islands, and aims to have installed one million access points by 2013.
Indosat’s plan, Meijer confirmed, will see the deployment of Wi-Fi infrastructure capable of delivering internet access at speeds of up to ten times those currently offered by its 3G/W-CDMA cellular systems, enabling it to offload data traffic currently causing congestion on the third-generation networks. The ongoing modernisation project includes the upgrade of equipment at its telecoms towers, including antennae, and is designed to utilise the latest frequencies it was granted by the regulator, In August this year the Communications and Information Ministry licensed it to use the 900MHz frequency band for broadband services.