Investor Daily, Jakarta – State-owned telecom giant Telkomsel recently announced it would finish upgrading the 3G base transceiver stations (BTS) for the faster 4G networks in 31 cities/regencies by the end of this month.
According to Telkomsel's VP of Corporate Communications Saki H Bramono, the upgrades have entered the last phase and will focus on areas that see high digital lifestyle adoption and indoor cellular network uses, namely in Jakarta and West Java.
"Telkomsel will finish upgrading the 3G networks to 4G/LTE in 504 cities/regencies this year. We have already launched this program since 2022," Saki was quoted as saying by Investor Daily on Wednesday.
As of the first quarter of 2023, Telkomsel has 258,932 BTS, and 168,000 of those units are 4G. Telkomsel started out with over 49,000 3G BTS to upgrade at the beginning of this 3G-to-4G switch program.
"As for new BTS units, in 2023 and onwards, we will focus on expanding the 4G networks to the remote areas, as the adoption of digital lifestyle has now become more equitably spread across the archipelago," Saki said.
Telkomsel not long ago won a frequency spectrum auction hosted by the Communications Ministry. The company has completed the refarming process. Also, Telkomsel will continue to develop its 5G networks in potential areas, be it from a business-to-consumer (B2C) or a business-to-business (B2B) standpoint. Telkomsel has 280 5G BTS by the end of Q1-2023.
Telkomsel posted Rp 21.5 trillion (around $1.4 billion) in revenue in Q1-2023, marking a 1.1 percent year-on-year (yoy) growth. The digital business accounted for 84.4 percent or about Rp 18.2 trillion of the revenue, while the rest came from SMS and telephone/voice (legacy) services.
The digital business segment rose 7.1 percent yoy compared to the same period last year. With 151.1 million customers, Telkom saw its payload data rising up to 11 percent yoy to 4,217,405 TB. Payload consumption reached 12,324 MB per data service user, marking an 11.7 percent yoy increase. Telkomsel's data users also stood at 121.8 million as of the first quarter.