SmartFren Telecom (Smartfren), which recently activated its LTE network operating in the 850MHz/1900MHz band in Batam, Riau Islands, has launched a charm offensive to encourage users to migrate to the new network, IndoTelko reports. The Indonesian CDMA operator-turned-LTE provider will offer customers a generous trade-in on their existing device in ‘all ten cities’ that the carrier considers a priority for the launch of commercial 4G services in the near future. All in all, Smartfren is looking to launch in 22 cities by the year’s end and has already begun deploying 4G in Bali, Batam, Surabaya and Malang, said director of Brand & Marketing, Roberto Saputra. He added that the company is targeting 1.5 million new activations of its new Andromax Smartfren 4G handset, leading to a 30% increase in data services in the short term. In the coming weeks, Smartfren is launching a trial of LTE in a number of major cities, including Jakarta, he said, pending its evaluation of the results of its recent test drive yesterday, Saputra explained.
Smartfren recorded net losses of IDR815.519 billion (USD60.5 million) in the first half of 2015, up 24.72% compared to IDR653.883 billion in the same period last year. In a filing to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (BEI), Smartfren confirmed that its stock experienced FOREX losses of IDR346.6 billion in H1 2015, wiping out a foreign exchange-related profit of IDR83.7 billion in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the period under review increased by 6% year-on-year to IDR1.519 trillion from IDR1.432 trillion – below expectations.