Publicly listed telecommunications operator PT Indosat (Indosat Ooredoo) has reported a solid set of financial and operational results for the six months ending 30 June 2021, with revenues increasing 11.4% year-on-year to IDR14.984 trillion (USD1.04 billion), operating profit surging 550.2% to IDR 7.073 trillion and EBITDA improving by 24.8% on an annualised basis to IDR6.778 trillion; EBITDA margin edged up 4.8 percentage points to 45.2%. The above served to contribute to a significant turnaround in the operator’s bottom line which went from a loss of IDR341.1 billion in the first half of 2020 to a profit of IDR5.598 trillion in the period under review.
Cellular revenues increased by 11.3% y-o-y to IDR12.403 trillion, attributed to a sharp increase in data revenue which offset falling returns from voice, SMS and devices revenues. Indosat closed out June 2021 with a total of 60.3 million mobile subscribers, up 5.3% compared with 57.2 million at end-June 2020, as blended monthly ARPU improved to IDR34.0 from IDR31.4 and data traffic surged 40.2% to over 3,108PB. Further, within the mobile total, Indosat reported that some 40 million are now 4G data subscribers, up 29.5% y-o-y.
The strong uptake of 4G services has seemingly pushed the operator to confirm its plans to phase out its 3G network and shift resources to the development of 4G and indeed, 5G services in a rapidly evolving market. With Indosat having upped the number of 4G base stations on air by 15,983 to 68,759 and cut the equivalent number for 3G by 10,334 to 35,068 in the past twelve months, its chief operating officer, Vikram Sinha, is cited as saying that ‘4G will become very relevant, and it will be the growth momentum for many months and years to come. But 3G, we want to slowly shut down and make sure that we move to 4G and 5G.’