Smartfren to take on Bolt!’s 4G operations in Indonesia, paper says

3 Jan 2019

The Jakarta Post writes that Smartfren Telecom, one of the country’s smallest mobile network operators (MNOs), has revealed plans to take over the operations of Internux (Bolt!) which has been ordered to suspend its TD-LTE internet service after the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) revoked its spectrum licence for failing to pay fees for more than two years. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, MCIT officially revoked the radio frequency band licences (IPFR) owned by Indonesian operators First Media and Internux, trading under the banner Bolt!, on 28 December 2018 for the non-payment of arrears on its Usage Rights Fees (BHP) totalling IDR364.84 billion (USD25.57 million).

Internux had held IPFR permits relating to broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum it secured in a July 2009 auction of 2300MHz frequencies. The operator was issued with 15MHz bandwidth in Zone 4: Northern Sumatra, Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Depok, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) and Banten, but failed to satisfy the government of its ability/intention to make good on its arrears and had its licences pulled under Ministerial Decree (KM) Numbers 1011 and 1012 of 2018.

However, in a surprise twist, Djoko Tata Ibrahim, Smartfren deputy CEO, said in a statement: ‘We have made this agreement as part of our support for Bolt! customers. Its customers are now able to replace their 4G cards with our Smartfren Now+ pre-paid SIM cards for free.’

Indonesia, Internux (Bolt!), Smart Telecom (Smartfren)