State-owned telecoms operator Telkom Indonesia reported a 14.4% year-on-year increase in net profit to IDR22.1 trillion (USD1.61 billion) in FY 2017, on revenue that climbed 10.2% to IDR128.3 trillion over the same period, while EBITDA grew 8.6% to IDR64.6 trillion. In an investor filing the telco said that the growth in turnover was driven by data sales, as well as the popularity of its internet and IT services. In particular, Telkom reported a sharp increase in smartphone usage and a rise in the number of customers using its IndiHome (fibre) and ICT Solutions services. In a statement the telco’s president Alex J Sinaga confirmed: ‘The increasing contribution from the data, internet and IT service segment indicates that Telkom is on track to becoming a digital telecommunications company.’ However, the filing also confirmed that operating and maintenance expenses increased by 17.1% in line with what it termed ‘the aggressive development of broadband infrastructure in the backbone, mobile and fixed line segment’.
Turning to the group’s mobile arm Telkomsel, the carrier reported that its subsidiary’s revenue climbed 7.5% y-o-y to IDR93.2 trillion in FY 2017, supported by its digital business which grew by 28.7% from 2016 due to an increase in smartphone users, which pushed data consumption, contributing 42.3% of Telkomsel’s total revenue. The mobile operator believes that data and digital service businesses are the future of the industry, prompting Telkomsel to focus on building a digital ecosystem by establishing a digital services portfolio that consists of Digital Lifestyle, Mobile Financial Services, Digital Banking and Digital Advertising services.
On the operational side, Telkomsel served a total of 196.3 million mobile customers at 31 December 2017. In the year under review the cellco continued to invest in the deployment of its networks and services, installing a total of 31,672 base transceiver stations (BTS) last year, all of which support 3G and 4G. At the end of the year Telkomsel reported a total of 160,705 BTS, 70% of which were 3G/4G-enabled. At the same date its LTE signal covered 490 cities across Indonesia