Indonesia’s First Media (formerly Broadband Multimedia), the media arm of local conglomerate the Lippo Group, says it is looking to boost the profile of its 4G wireless broadband brand Bolt! this year, via investment of between IDR500 billion and IDR700 billion (USD38.1 million and USD53.3 million). First Media’s vice president Irwan Djaja said last week that the amount forms part of a total IDR1.5 trillion CAPEX for 2015, and will be used to ‘expand the service penetration of Bolt! in Medan, North Sumatra and the northern region of Sumatra, as well as other regions’.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in February 2014 First Media formed a partnership with its subsidiary, Time Division-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) broadband wireless provider Internux, to offer the latter’s Bolt! 4G services as part of a bundle with its own cable TV and fixed broadband access. As part of the plan, the cableco introduced a new service dubbed First Media GO which enables users to access TV content on 4G-enabled mobile devices. The service costs IDR99,000 per month for unlimited access. In December the same year the company made a surprise move in commercialising technology based on TD-LTE in North Sumatra, again via Bolt!, which is principally active in Jakarta and surrounding areas. Initially, First Media deployed around 472 base stations in areas such as Medan, Kualanamu and Binjai to support 4G TD-LTE services there, following the receipt of the requisite operational acceptance test (ULO).
First Media is controlled by AcrossAsia Multimedia, the technology arm of Indonesian conglomerate the Lippo Group, with a 55.10% stake, while Reksa Puspita Karya owns 33.76%, and the remaining 11.14% is held by shareholders with ownership below 5%. First Media is itself the majority shareholder of PT Mitra Mandiri which owns Internux, the brand manager of Bolt!