Smartfren picks ZTE for 4G expansion and 5G trial

1 May 2019

Telekom PT Smartfren (Smartfren) has selected ZTE of China to expand its 4G LTE networks in Indonesia and collaborate on the development of 5G technology in the country. IndoTelko reports that Smartfren signed a deal with the Chinese firm at the Indonesia-China Business Forum event held in Shenzhen, China on 25-27 April 2019.

Smartfren President Director, Merza Fachys, said: ‘Currently, we are preparing to conduct a 5G trial in Indonesia. Not only that, our collaboration with ZTE also includes the expansion of Smartfren’s 4G networks … to deliver better telecommunication service quality in Indonesia.’ Echoing his statement, ZTE Senior Vice President Mei Zhonghua noted that the tie-up should help to improve the quality of Indonesia’s national broadband network.

In January this year, Smartfren Telecom, one of the country’s smallest mobile network operators (MNOs), revealed plans to take over the operations of Internux (Bolt!) which was 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. 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).