Indonesia’s PT Smartfren Telecom (Smartfren) booked a net loss of IDR3.024 trillion (USD219.96 million) in FY 2017, a significant deterioration from the net loss of IDR1.979 trillion in FY 2016. In a filing to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (BEI), the telco confirmed that despite the widening losses – which it attributed to increased general and administrative expenses and costs related to servicing debt – its full year revenue increased by 28.3% to IDR4.668 trillion from IDR3.637 trillion previously. The mobile services provider closed out 2017 with a total of twelve million mobile users, and now aims to double this to 24 million by end-2018.
Speaking in January this year, the firm’s deputy commercial CEO Djoko Tata Ibrahim told a media briefing in Jakarta that Smartfren would be optimising its 4G network in 2018 to reach its subscriber goal, and is now using a full 4G LTE network – using frequencies at 850MHz and 2300MHz – having switched off its legacy CDMA network as part of its migration plan. Smartfren had a total of 13,326 base stations on air at the start of this year and will deploy a further 10,000 new units in 2018, he said. At the time, meanwhile, Djoko also provided some details on Smartfren’s three-pronged subscriber acquisition strategy, noting that the firm is foregrounding: Open Market Handset (OMH) strategy, which targets the premium market by working with handset vendors such as Samsung, Lenovo, and HiSense to develop smartphone devices with products tailored to the cellco’s networks and services; Andromax bundling, which targets the lower-middle segment by offering them bundled services with an Andromax handset based on what it terms an ‘affordable price with unlimited data concept’; and sales of starter packs for the lower-income demographic.