Mobile network operator (MNO) XL Axiata continues to expand its 4G network infrastructure in Sulawesi and surrounding islands, boosting its coverage to a total of 45 cities/districts throughout the region under the latest drive which takes in parts of Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo. The company says it has experienced a surge in data traffic in Sulawesi over the past year, with usage doubling year-on-year and, in response, is shoring up its LTE infrastructure to meet pent up demand there. Following the latest phase of its 4G rollout programme, XL Axiata has extended coverage to
Palu City, Parigi Moutong District, Donggala District, Poso District and Sigi Regency – supported by a total of more than 50 4G base transceiver stations (BTS). Meanwhile, in Gorontalo it has added the areas of Gorontalo City and Gorontalo Regency to its footprint, this time deploying a total of about 40 BTS 4G. The next extension is targeted to reach into North Gorontalo District and Pahuwato District, it says. In total, it has now installed more than 600 4G base stations in the region and notes that smartphone usage levels currently stand at more than 50% of total customers in Central Sulawesi and more than 48% in Gorontalo. Meanwhile, across Sulawesi the number of customers with 4G smartphones has reached 60%.
Nationally, the MNO’s 4G network is live in 347 cities/districts throughout Indonesia, exceeding the company’s initial target of 300, including the areas of Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumatera, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. As at 31 October 2017, XL Axiata says it had more than 20 million 4G subscribers nationwide, using a network comprising 16,000 BTS. At the same date, its total number of ‘on-air’ base stations had reached nearly 100,000, of which more than 44,000 were 3G-equipped.