Mobile operator PT Smart Telecom (Smartfren) is keen to participate in the Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI), known locally as Kementerian Komunikasi dan Informatika (KemKominfo’s) auction of 2.3GHz frequency spectrum which is expected to take place before the end of the year. Although it is still waiting for confirmation on when the sale of frequencies will take place, Smartfren – which already holds 30MHz of spectrum at 2.3GHz – is keen to secure a further block of 30MHz at the auction which it says is ‘sufficient’ to implement 5G technology ahead of the competition. If and when the auction begins, Smartfren will likely face stiff competition from rival Telkomsel which also holds 30MHz of that frequency.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Smartfren reported that its net losses widened to IDR1.22 trillion (USD83.8 million) in the first half of this year, compared to a loss of IDR1.07 trillion in January-June 2019. Smartfren, whose three main shareholders are Sinar Mas Group subsidiaries Global Nusa Data, Wahana Inti Nusantara and Bali Media Telekomunikasi, said 1H20 revenues increased from IDR3.03 trillion to IDR4.30 trillion – prompting Finance Director Antony Susilo to say ‘We are trying to maintain this revenue growth,’ but operating expenses also expanded from IDR4.31 trillion to IDR5.17 trillion. Broken down by segment, data service generated revenue of IDR3.91 trillion, augmented by non-data (IDR226.50 billion), interconnection (IDR61.60 billion) and other (IDR101.90 billion). On a more positive note, the struggling cellco said that it had trimmed its operating losses from IDR1.28 trillion in 1H19 to IDR870.55 billion in the six-month period.