Indonesian 4G wireless broadband provider Internux (Bolt!), a subsidiary of PT Mitra Mandiri which is itself majority owned by First Media, closed out last year with 1.8 million customers, falling far short of its year-end target of 2.5 million. Nevertheless, the firm’s CEO Dicky Mochtar attempted to put a brave face on the disappointment, pointing out that it had grabbed a 16% share of the market by the start of this year, up from only 2% at the beginning of 2015. Internux switched on its time division duplex LTE (TD-LTE) network in Jakarta in November 2013 and was originally licensed only for Greater Jakarta and neighbouring province Banten (having been awarded a 2×10MHz 2.3GHz band concession in 2009, originally earmarked for WiMAX). It has since expanded to Aceh and notes that its base station network configuration is boosted by small cells (10-15 metres high), mainly aimed at improving indoor coverage, with 98% of all cell sites connected by fibre, and with the aim of reaching access speeds of up to 40Mbps with its ‘Bolt! Super 4G’ LTE services.
IndoTelko quotes the CEO as saying that, despite the setback, the wireless broadband provider hopes to add a further one million subscribers for a total of 2.8 million by end-2016. Internux is putting in place a number of strategies to help it reach this goal, including offering its subscribers better, more-tailored data quotas on its tariff plans – meaning it will not have to go as far as offering ‘unlimited’ data packages to keep customers happy.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in May 2015 parent group First Media said it was looking to boost the profile of its 4G wireless broadband brand in Indonesia via investment of between IDR500 billion and IDR700 billion (USD37 million-USD52 million). First Media’s vice president Irwan Djaja said at the time that the amount formed part of a total IDR1.5 trillion CAPEX for 2015, and would be used to ‘expand the service penetration of Bolt! in Medan, North Sumatra and the northern region of Sumatra, as well as other regions’. Further, in September last year the operator announced plans to strengthen coverage by improving its indoor/in-building coverage in its current service areas.