Ooredoo Group MD Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo told Bloomberg a merger of it and CK Hutchison’s Indonesian units would redefine the country’s currently fragmented telecoms market, creating a player with sufficient scale to compete with market leader Telkomsel.

Fakhroo told the news agency the combination would create an operator with about 100 million subscribers and around a 25 per cent market share, giving it a solid second-place behind Telkomsel, which GSMA Intelligence data showed had 169 million subscribers at end-Q2.

The Ooredoo MD explained it spent nine months studying the transaction and identified the two players have 25 per cent to 30 per cent duplication in network coverage, adding many sites can be decommissioned and IT platforms combined to cut costs.

Fakhroo noted Ooredoo embarked on an asset-light strategy at the beginning of the year, closing a $750 million deal to sell more than 4,200 towers.

He explained part of its strategy involved looking at all group components including data centres and towers, which it is considering selling.