Indonesia’s Big 3 gear up for year-end surge
By Ervina Anggraini December 31, 2015
- Year-end festive period to see peak traffic, especially for data services
- Operators will be boosting network capacity and monitoring
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ANTICIPATING a surge in demand for data services in the switchover to the new year, the three major telco operators in Indonesia will be boosting their network capacity and monitoring to ensure a smooth experience.
The ‘Big Three’ not only expect increased demand for 4G LTE (Fourth Generation/ Long-Term Evolution) services, but also that data services will outshine voice calls and SMS (short messaging service).
Telkomsel, XL Axiata and Indosat Ooredoo will be increasing network capacity and the number of BTSes (base transceiver stations) at various strategic locations, especially in popular tourist destinations and dense areas, their executives told Digital News Asia (DNA).
Telkomsel to be Combat-ready
As the year-end approaches, Telkomsel expects data traffic to surge 22.6% compared with the average over the rest of the year, to reach 2,000 terabytes.
In addition to data services, conventional services like voice calls and SMS are also expected to spike. Voice calls will rise 6.4% to 1.64 billion minutes, and SMS traffic will surge 18.8% to 1.04 billion SMSes.
To cater to this increased demand, Telkomsel will increase its data capacity to 370.2Gbps (up approximately 60% from 2014), its president director Ririek Adriansyah told DNA.
Approximately 100,000 BTSes – including 3,000 4G BTSes and 93 Compact Mobile BTSes (Combat) – will also be deployed to ensure network quality during the New Year celebrations.
“The New Year’s holiday is a period when all the communications needs of our customers increase, particularly when it comes to data services,” said Ririek.
“Our focus will also be on providing quality service in the 14 cities that we have rolled out 4G to,” he added. These cities include Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Medan, Surabaya, Batam, and Yogyakarta.
According to Ririek, Telkomsel has identified 1,000 POIs (Points Of Interest) in 30 cities across Indonesia that are expected to be packed with people, and where it will be committed to providing stable and speedy data connectivity during the peak period.
XL’s focus on dense areas
Like its rival, XL Axiata is also committed to increasing the capacity of its network during the year-end holiday season, but its focus will be on crowded places, especially for the greater Jakarta area.
“We predict data traffic will increase significantly compared with voice calls and SMSes,” said its chief services management officer Yessie D. Yosetya.
Its commitment will be supported by 56,000 BTSes and a fibre-optic network infrastructure that spans more than 37,000 km.
XL Axiata, which has 41.5 million subscribers, expects data traffic to surge 20% during this peak period, while SMS services and voice calls are predicted to rise 5% and 10% respectively.
It has also rolled out 4G LTE services in a number of cities including Medan, Denpasar, Surabaya, Bandung, Jakarta, Batam, Palembang, and Yogyakarta.
Indosat Ooredoo predicts all-round surge
Not to be outdone by its two competitors, Indosat Ooredoo will also be increasing its capacity during the year-end period – across all services, and not just 4G LTE.
It intends to increase the capacity of voice calls to 2,340 million minutes a day (from 39 million a day), SMS service to 1,285 billion SMSes a day, and up to 3,463 terabytes of data a day.
The adjustments above were determined by the traffic increase it is predicting, which is based on its previous experience of year-end surges, according to Indosat Ooredoo group head office chief technology officer Heri Purnomo.
To minimise any disruption, Indosat Ooredoo will monitor its networks through its i-NOC (Network Operation Centre Ooredoo Indosat) facility.
Meanwhile, as at end-2015, the company has rolled out 4G LTE services to 35 cities, and will be extending to an additional five cities by the first half of 2016, according to its director and chief sales and distribution officer Joy Wahyudi.
The company is also focused on boosting customer migration from 2G and 3G to 4G.
“Currently, our 4G customer base is still small – less than 5% of the approximately 34 million data customers we have – but these customers account for a large portion of data traffic.
“We have five million customers who actually have 4G mobile phones but are not on our 4G network, so we will boost adoption by migrating existing customers and also by adding new customers,” Joy said.
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