Indonesian operator Smartfren Telecom said it expanded its TDD-FDD LTE network to 188 cities, with 4G users accounting for 11 per cent of its user base of 13.3 million.
Smartfren director Roberto Saputra said it recently rolled out voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service, claiming to be the first in the country to offer the high-quality voice service. He said it will use VoLTE to attract 4G customers to its high-speed network, IndoTelko reported.
The operator, one of the smallest in Indonesia with less than a 4 per cent market share, also introduced the Smart VoLTE app, available from Google Play, as well as two smartphones that support VoLTE — the Andromax R2 and E2 smartphones, which sell for IDR1.7 million ($130) and IDR899,000 ($69) respectively.
It expanded its 4G network to 85 cities in January as it moves to boost its 4G user base from 1.5 million to five million by the end of the year.
Last September it launched LTE-Advanced service in 11 cities in western Indonesia, including Jakarta, and claimed it was the first to deploy a TDD-FDD network in the country (using both unpaired TDD spectrum and paired FDD airwaves).
IndoTelko reported that Smartfren is the only operator in the country to offer an unlimited 4G data plan, with about 100,000 customers. But it plans to drop the offer after a promotional period ends on 30 April and move to plans with a fair usage policy that allows unlimited data but throttles the speed when the user hits a specified cap.
Competition in the 4G space has intensified over the past six months as the country’s three major 4G players traded claims and accusations as they sped up deployments of LTE networks.
Market leader Telkomsel had 3.4 million 4G connections at the end of Q1, while number two Indosat had about three million and XL had nearly 3.4 million, according to GSMA Intelligence. 4G users accounted for 2-8 per cent of the top three operators’ customer base.