Indonesia’s Berca Hardayaperkasa, which previously operated a broadband wireless access (BWA) service under the brand name WiGO – deploying WiMAX at 2.3GHz in South and Central Sumatra, Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara – has announced that it will launch its commercial 4G LTE service in the second half of this year. In July 2015 Berca revealed plans to switch from WiMAX to time division duplex LTE (TD-LTE) – following the lead of rival Internux (Bolt!) – and said it would soon commercialise its new ‘Hinet’ brand capable of delivering peak throughput of 75Mbps. At that date Berca said it had begun rollout of base transceiver stations (BTS) in the cities of Denpasar, Makassar and Pekanbaru, having committed USD150 million on the network, which is being built by Huawei. Supporting two types of devices – Wi-Fi modem and in-car connectivity – Berca initially targeted deploying as many as 130 BTS by end-2015, with plans to expand this to 400 in the short term, reaching a dozen cities. Since then, however, the launch has been delayed.
This week though, Berca reaffirmed its progress, saying that commercial services are expected to hit Denpasar, Makassar and Pekanbaru in H2 2016, with managing director Linggajaya Budiman noting: ‘We’ve now been given our Operation Feasibility Test (ULO) licence for devices and the network of by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo). Providing there are no further obstacles, we hope to launch Hinet in the second half of 2016.’ Explaining the delay in launching, the Berca official said it ended up having to roll out 500 BTS in the areas targeted to ensure stable download speeds and overall service quality. That being said, Linggajaya Budiman has since said that Berca is not interested in participating in the upcoming tender for additional frequencies at 2.3GHz, informing journalists that the operator’s existing bandwidth is more than adequate for its needs.