Indonesian CDMA operator-turned-LTE provider Telekom PT SmartFren (Smartfren), which in January this year confirmed that its 4G network had been switched on in 85 cities across the country, now claims to have boosted coverage to 188 urban centres. IndoTelko quotes the firm’s chief brand officer, Roberto Saputra, as saying that it will soon hold an ‘official announcement of the names of the cities’ involved. Despite the more than doubling in its service footprint though, Saputra says that to date subscriber take-up has not been proportional to the number of cities covered, blaming issues such as the availability of suitable handsets for the slow growth.
TeleGeography notes that in late-January 2016, Smartfren had around 13 million mobile subscribers on its books (CDMA and LTE), of which one million were reportedly on the new 4G network, signed up to products such as its ‘4G LTE Internet’ tariff, comprising an Andromax MiFi 4G LTE modem and ‘True Unlimited Internet 4G LTE’ service priced from IDR25,000 (USD1.81). The operator’s 4G network uses a combination of frequency division duplex (FDD) technology in the 850MHz band, and time division duplex (TDD) running at 2300MHz, to allow wider network coverage and fast internet access.
To boost 4G uptake in the remainder of the year, the carrier has launched a new voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) application called ‘Smart VoLTE’ which works with the operator’s Andromax 4G and 4G Android smartphones via download from the Google Play Store. It is also testing VoLTE roaming services with LG Uplus in South Korea and hopes to commercialise VoLTE roaming services by the end of next year.