The Indonesian mobile operator XL Axiata has revealed that the ongoing phased rollout of 1800MHz 4G LTE services will target a commercial launch in Bandung, West Java by the end of the month, followed soon after by Jakarta in November, after the company concludes its nationwide spectrum refarming programme. Dian Siswarini, President Director and CEO of XL Axiata, notes that the process has already reached Central Java and will be completed next month to comply with the ministry’s 23 November deadline. ‘There have been minimal obstacles in the refarming process. That’s why we are confident to say that we are able to have 4G LTE services operating in Bandung by the end of October, and in Jakarta by November,’ she said.
XL introduced its first 1800MHz 4G service in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara in July 2015, followed soon after by Denpasar (Bali) and Surabaya (East Java). It currently has around 1.2 million 4G users to its 900MHz service, although Dian concedes that some customers have complained that LTE-900 is proving to be little faster than XL’s W-CDMA-based 3G network. Last month XL Axiata, which is 66.5%-owned by Axiata Group of Malaysia through Axiata Investments (Indonesia), selected Ericsson to act as its turnkey supplier for 4G LTE design and implementation in Jakarta and Central Java, as well as for 2G and 3G upgrades to meet an explosion in demand for data traffic. Under a three-year contract, the Swedish vendor will supply all necessary hardware, software and services to deliver 4G services for XL Axiata’s subscribers. The pair say the deployment will improve both network capacity and data transmission speeds.
In another development regarding the government’s recent plan to tighten procedures on the purchase of mobile SIM cards, The Jakarta Post quotes Dian as saying that XL Axiata had prepared for the regulation in terms of its data systems and forging standard operating procedures (SOPs) with retail outlets to make them aware of the regulation. The telecoms ministry and the telecommunications regulatory authority (BRTI) issued a regulation in September, requiring customers to show an ID upon the purchase of pre-paid SIM cards starting 15 December.