The Jakarta Post
Telecommunications firm PT XL Axiata commercially launched its 4G/Long Term Evolution (4G/LTE) high-speed internet service in Greater Jakarta on Tuesday following the completion of the country's national spectrum refarming program.
XL president director Dian Siswarini said that the commercial launch of the 4G/LTE high speed internet service was part of the refarming program of the country's 1,800 MHz frequency, which has been underway since May this year.
XL is the first of the country's telecom operators to commercially launch its 4G LTE network in the capital, Dian said, adding that the high-speed internet service would be available in 35 cities nationwide by the end of the year.
Aside from Jakarta, XL's new 4G/LTE service is also currently available in Yogyakarta, Medan, Lombok, Bali, Surabaya and Bandung.
The service will also be available in Pekanbaru, Batam, Palembang, Manado and Banjarmasin and six other cities by the end of November.
Indonesia's top five mobile operators including Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata, 3 Hutchison and Smartfren launched the trial operation of the 4G service on 1.8GHz networks in selected cities and regions in July as part of the spectrum refarming (rearrangement) program.
Dian said that XL would continue to increase its investment in 4G services in the future, as it remained a vital part of ensuring the supply of super-fast internet services nationwide as a way to improve economic productivity. She noted that XL's 4G LTE services were also in line with the government's plan to develop a better broadband network.
'Now that we have finished our band refarming process, we can continue to focus on developing the quality of our 4G service. With the arrival of super-fast internet in Indonesia, the market's behavior will change due to an increasingly wired economy,' Dian said on Tuesday.
To accommodate the service in Jakarta, XL's vice president for LTE Pantro Pander Silitonga explained that over 1,500 internet transmitters (BTS) will be rolled out across Jakarta by the end of the year. As of now, there are 1,100 that are actively carrying the new 4G/LTE service. The company claims that internet speeds on its 4G service could reach up to 150 mbps.
Meanwhile, with XL's focusing and investing more in the 4G network, Dian said that the company's 2G services would most likely cease by 2022, due to a greatly improved national broadband network. However for the present moment there would be no changes to XL's 2G network service as the 4G band does not reuse or recycle 2G frequencies.
'We are targeting over 3 million 4G users in Jakarta by the end of the year. ['¦] The transition of our customers from 2G to 3G connections took 10 years to happen. I assess that the user transition from 3G to 4G will only take three years, with the inclusion of around 20 percent of our user base,' she added.
Around 1.2 million XL users are actively using the carrier's old 4G network, which operates on the 900 MHz frequency.
XL has said previously that it had around 1.2 million 4G users on its 900MHz service. The company, which is 66.5 percent owned by the Axiata Group of Malaysia through Axiata Investments (Indonesia), recently selected Ericsson to act as its turnkey supplier for 4G LTE design and implementation in Jakarta and Central Java, as well as for 2G and 3G upgrades to meet an explosion in data traffic demand.
The 4G/LTE network deployment will improve network capacity and enhance speeds to allow Indonesian users to enjoy improved smartphone and network performance, as well as faster web browsing and downloads.
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