In Business Model, Internet Access, Mobile, Spectrum

Indonesia’s five biggest mobile operators launched their 4G Long Term Evolution services, with some boasting mobile broadband download speeds of up to 100 Mbps in the 1,800-megahertz frequency band.

Telkomsel, the country’s biggest carrier, launched its network in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Sunday, while Indosat, the third-biggest, held a similar launch on the same day in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.

XL Axiata held its launch on the holiday island of Lombok, while Hutchison 3 and Smartfren rolled out their services from Banjarmasin, in South Kalimantan, and Batam, in the Riau Islands, respectively.

The government has reallocated the 1,800 MHz frequency band, previously only used for the 2G network, to support 4G LTE services.

Telkomsel, a joint venture between state telecommunications company Telkom and Singapore’s Singtel, launched its first 4G LTE network last December on the 900 MHz band, which was available only in Jakarta and Bali. It has since been working to introduce the service to other cities, including Bandung, Surabaya and Medan.

XL Axiata, which also initially introduced 4G LTE to subscribers on the 900 MHz band, now has 200,000 subscribers for the service.

Indosat, a member of Qatar-based Ooredoo, introduced its 4G LTE service on the 900 MHz band in April in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali, and now says it is preparing to deploy the service nationwide on the higher band.

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