Jakarta. Internux, the first Indonesian Internet access provider using 4G long-term evolution technology under the Bolt! 4G LTE brand, has sold its devices to more than a million subscribers since it launched a year ago, marking a milestone for acquiring three million subscribers by the end of 2015.
The company plans to spend $18 million this year to build 600 more base transceiver stations in its bid to strengthen its network capacity to reach more customers and launch its own voice services, Internux chief executive Dicky Moechtar told reporters on Tuesday.
“We already have a million customers now ... The first thing we will do is to ensure we offer good network quality, in terms of coverage and capacity,” he said.
Dicky said Internux aquired 100,000 subscribers in the first month after it launched its Bolt! product in January last year, and saw its user base increase by 54 percent on average per quarter.
Still, not all Bolt! users are active.
“Judging by their topping up activities we can say about 70 percent of them are active users,” Internux chief commercial officer Larry Ridwan said.
Internux plans to add 600 new base transceiver stations this year. It currently has 2,900 sites servicing Bolt users in the greater-Jakarta area, which includes Bogor, Depok and Tangerang.
No plans have been revealed to expand Bolt! 4G LTE coverage, since the company only has a licence to operate in two zones: the greater-Jakarta area and North Sumatra.
The company’s broadband wireless access permit restricts it from providing calls and short messages directly over its network.
To address the needs of its users without breaking the law, the company will launch an app similar to Skype that in theory will allow people to call land lines. That app is expected by the end of April.
“It’s the capability that we have been looking all along to provide and with the community of one million people, the people who are already [capable of] using voice-over-LTE without knowing it,” Gubiani said.
Bolt! 4G LTE also launched a 7-inch Android-based tablet on Tuesday that will be sold for less than Rp 5 million ($450).
Indonesia registered more SIM cards than its population. The number of mobile subscribers in Indonesia stood at 278 million last year, which is 10 percent more the country’s population.
Mobile operators such as Telkom Seluler, the subsidiary of Telekomunikasi Indonesia, XL Axiata and Indosat, together account for about 60 percent of the country’s cellular market, also launched their own 4G LTE service last year.
Telkomsel, for example, aims to have two million to three million users for its LTE service this year, taking into account the limited availability of the LTE-capable devices in the country.
Bolt! and the Jakarta Globe are both affiliated with the Lippo Group.