The Jakarta Post quotes PT Indosat’s Adrian Prasanto as saying that the telco plans to increase its number of Wi-Fi hotspots to 5,000 this year, up from the 2,600 it currently has online. The operator has deployed four-fifths of its Wi-Fi network mainly in Jakarta and its environs, with the remainder in the areas of Surabaya, Bali, Batam and Medan. With a surge in demand for data traffic in Indonesia and with Long Term Evolution (LTE) a long way off in the country, operators are seeking alternative solutions to improve their ability to handle traffic. In an initiative described as ‘Wi-Fi offload’, domestic telcos are diverting a portion of their 3G mobile traffic onto Wi-Fi to ease traffic congestion on their networks. Mr Prasanto said that the firm has set up Wi-Fi in high density areas, such as shopping malls, where ‘clients can instantly access the service because our equipment automatically reads the customer’s number’. In 2013 Indosat intends to deploy an additional 2,400 hotspots at a cost of USD8 million, he said, noting that an investment in the technology helps reduce churn rates, in turn having a positive impact on revenues.