In a recent filing to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), Indonesian mobile operator Smartfren – part of the Sinar Mas Group of companies – reported that it had 12.3 million customers on its 4G LTE network at end-December 2018, up from 11.5 million twelve months earlier. The filing also confirmed that Smartfren’s 4G network was live in 200 cities across Indonesia by the start of this year, thanks to the deployment of 19,032 LTE base stations.
Smartfren booked total revenue of IDR4.343 trillion (USD307.12 million) in FY 2017, of which IDR326 billion was generated by users on its legacy CDMA network. However, having worked to fully migrate away from CDMA technology during the course of the year, in FY 2018 the cellco noted that 100% of its IDR5.490 trillion revenue came from LTE. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), meanwhile, also improved: in 2017 it amounted to IDR663 billion with a margin of 14%, while in 2018 it climbed to IDR975 billion with a margin of 18%. Furthermore, Smartfren said that the popularity of its faster 4G network helped boost average ARPU which increased from IDR34,600 per month in 2017 to IDR44,200 last year.