Indonesia’s second largest operator Indosat rolled out LTE service under the 4Gplus brand in 20 major cities, after launching in great Jakarta two weeks ago, and plans to reach 35 cities by year-end.

Indosat CEO Alexander Rusli said it has spent two years developing its 4G network, which now reaches 40 million people and is broadening its reach by five million each month, the Jakarta Post reported.

The operator, which has a 21.5 per cent market share, was recently rebranded as Indosat Ooredoo. It is 65 per cent owned by Qatar-based Ooredoo.

According to GSMA Intelligence, it had 260,000 4G connections at the end of September and is forecast to have 530,000 by year-end.

The announcement comes after the country’s major operators recently gained access across the country to the newly refarmed 1.8GHz band and stepped up their 4G rollouts. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has “re-stacked” its 1.8GHz spectrum in a phased approach that began in May to allocate contiguous spectrum in that band to four mobile operators – Telkomsel, Indosat, XL and Hutchison 3 Indonesia.

Telkomsel, the market leader with a 46 per cent market share, announced plans two weeks ago to expand 4G coverage from 10 to 14 cities by the end of the year. It claimed to have the widest network coverage and the most 4G users in the country — 1.8 million. Its year-end target is two million.

XL, the number four player with a 13 per cent market share, expects to offer 4G in at least 36 cities by the end of the year. XL had 1.6 million 4G connections at the end of September, according to GSMA Intelligence.

3 Indonesia, which moved into third place ahead of XL in Q3 with a 14.5 per cent market share, introduced 4G service last quarter.