PT Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia (STI), which offers 4G services under the brand name Net1 Indonesia, has committed to supporting the government’s drive to boost rural broadband access, TelecomAsia reports. The wireless broadband provider, which is migrating from CDMA-450 to LTE-450 services, says it is lining up behind the plan to take broadband internet to even hard to reach and underdeveloped regions of the archipelago. Deploying LTE at 450MHz it says, allows it to maximise its coverage potential in line with the government’s Nawa Cita agenda for developing Indonesia’s rural areas. The firm’s CEO Larry Ridwan was speaking at a forum on universal service obligations (USO) last week in which it was revealed that currently, only 73% of villages have 3G internet access and only 55% have 4G. ‘Net1 4G LTE Network at 450MHz is able to reach 50km-60km, even up to 100km, from a base transceiver station, so it is suitable for [an] archipelago country like Indonesia which has 16,056 islands. In terms of infrastructure investment … it is certainly more efficient,’ he said.
To date, Net1 has rolled out 4G LTE services across 19 provinces, comprising 306 districts and 25,279 villages – a population coverage of around 126.3 million (~50%) – and is collaborating with several local government agencies at the district and province level to extend this still further.