Indonesian mobile operator Indosat Ooredoo plans to extend the coverage of its 4G LTE network to a further 16 cities across the country this year, to keep pace with customer demand for the high speed service. The Jakarta Post quotes the cellco’s chief executive officer Alexander Rusli as saying that the phased rollout will boost coverage from the 27 cities where its LTE signal is available, but admitted that given the higher data speeds afforded by 4G, more users than expected are upgrading their 3G service, giving rise to higher than expected demand for its bundled LTE packages. ‘With the number of transitions from 3G to 4G services, I’m glad that it is happening because it gives us more room to invest more in the 4G network,’ the CEO said, adding that Indosat Ooredoo is also aiming to improve network efficiency through infrastructure sharing once the Ministry for Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) publishes the necessary regulation on the matter. ‘Regulations on infrastructure sharing are not final and right now partnerships [with other telecommunications operators] are still very minimal because of that fact, but we are not closed to the idea of collaborating with other operators, as we are prepared to share in any area that makes sense to us,’ Alex is quoted as saying. That being said, Indosat is currently establishing the terms of partnership agreement with fellow operator PT XL Axiata to share its 4G network infrastructure in four cities.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in November 2015 Swedish equipment manufacturer Ericsson announced two major infrastructure contract wins in Indonesia, one of which was a deal to roll out a 4G LTE network for Indosat in Greater Jakarta. Ericsson confirmed that it had won a contract to provide the operator with a more energy-efficient and cost-effective network across the country. The agreement covers 2G, 3G and 4G network technology, including implementation services and network performance optimisation, with the vendor noting that the solution will work ‘seamlessly with the existing 2G and 3G networks already supplied by Ericsson’. Equipment wise, the gear maker is supplying its Ericsson RBS 6000 base station solution.