PT Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia (STI), which last month rebranded from Ceria as part of its planned migration from CDMA to LTE-based services, plans to launch a commercial service next year, according to its CEO Larry Ridwan. In a test demonstration of LTE for the country’s communications minister Rudiantara and BRTI Commissioner Imam Nashiruddin this week, Mr Ridwan confirmed that Net1’s LTE-450 service will go live in 2018, adding: ‘We have started to sell [SIM cards], we have done it in some provinces like South Sulawesi, Ambon and Banten. But we will not launch the full service until the process of migrating CDMA users is complete, and that is not likely before the end of this year’.
In disclosing that the service is already live in some areas, the CEO also revealed that Net1 has signed up around 4,000 4G subscribers, noting that approximately 70,000 are still using its CDMA service. Currently, it is only offering post-paid LTE tariff plans he said, before going on to say that Net1 is targeting deployment in suburban and rural areas where it is using 5MHz of a total allocation of 7.5MHz of spectrum. The company has already rolled out 23 eNodeB (4G BTS) and has 440 legacy CDMA BTS. The vendor being used is ZTE.