Indonesian mobile network operator (MNO) XL Axiata says it has launched its 4G network in Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara province, the latest area in the archipelago to benefit from its ongoing LTE deployment. XL director and CEO Dian Siswarini confirmed the switch-on, noting that in the initial phase the company will roll out 4G services in 20 cities/districts in East Nusa Tenggara province, namely: Kupang, Kupang, Alor, Belu, Ende, East Flores, Lembata, Manggarai, Manggarai Barat, East Manggarai, Nagekeo, Ngada, Rote Ndao District, Sikka Regency, West Sumba Regency, Southwest Sumba Regency, Central District, East Sumba Regency, South Central Timor District and North Central Timor District. Work in the region started in August 2017 and will also include the installation of more than 420 3G base transceiver stations (BTS) in the 900MHz band. One area that will get 4G LTE service is West Manggarai Regency with Labuan Bajo main town, it says. The MNO is using both UMTS-900 (3G) and LTE-900 (4G) to deliver mobile internet services.
In a related development, XL Axiata has provided an update on its network expansion programme, noting that it now boasts more than 100,000 2G/3G/4G BTS on-air, providing voice and data services across the entire archipelago. ‘The XL Axiata network has been reaching out in cities/districts in most provinces in Indonesia. XL Axiata BTS now stand on Pulau Weh at the most western end and in Merauke, and Jayapura on the easternmost tip of the archipelago. Our BTS also exist in a number of remote and foremost islands, such as in Semeulue, Natuna, and Sebatik. We are now establishing BTS in very remote villages in West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara, which have so far no telecommunication network,’ Dian Siswarini said. The cellco claims that in terms of network densification, its BTS are now available right down to at least ‘the sub-district level in Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi’. Of the 100,000 BTS now activated, around 65% are 3G/4G-enabled, and 35% of them are 2G (GSM) BTS, with Dian noting that as many as 360 cities/districts throughout Indonesia now have access to 4G LTE internet services – exceeding its own target of 330 cities/districts (by this date) – including hundreds of cities/districts in Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumatera, Kalimantan and Sulawesi.