Wed, 13 Nov 1996

New cordless telephone service launched

JAKARTA (JP): PT Telepoint Nusantara launched a new cordless telephone service yesterday, affordable to students and the middle-class, in hopes of competing with the rapidly expanding mobile cellular telecommunications.

This cordless telephone service CT2 will charge only conventional phone rates, Coordinating Minister for Political Affairs and Security Soesilo Soedarman said at the event launching the service that students and middle-income people are potential customers of Telepoint.

Different from mobile cellular phones, which run two-way telecommunications, this cordless technology, known as CT2, is capable only of making outgoing calls in limited zones.

Telepoint, set up in 1995, is 20 percent owned by Merdeka Kerta Raharja, a foundation of employees of the office of the coordinating minister for political affairs and security.

The company's other shareholders are the cooperatives of the employees from the Directorate General of Post and Telecommunications, and the Ministry of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications (each with 5 percent); Telepoint's president Romeo Sibih (47.5 percent); and managing director Ali Chendra (22.5 percent).

Sibih said that subscribers of the Telepoint service will be charged Rp 462,000, which includes a cordless telephone for Rp 260,000 (US$111), a registration fee of Rp 100,000 ($42.60), a first-month subscription fee of Rp 60,000, and a 10-percent value added tax of Rp 42,000 ($18).

After this, the monthly subscription fee will cost Rp 22,500, plus a billing charge of Rp 160 (6.5 U.S. cents) per three minutes. The billing charge includes a standard fixed-line charge of Rp 110, which will go to the state-owned PT Telkom, and a Rp 50 air-time charge which will go to Telepoint.

"Telepoint services will initially provide only local calls. We will later consider extending our services to long distance and cellular calls," Sibih said, adding that CT2 service works at 864-868 megahertz and can be upgraded to the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications.

Telepoint has invested up to Rp 25 million to install and activate up to 1,000 base stations in the Jakarta, Bekasi, Depok and Tangerang areas, he said.

"We will enter Bandung in West Java next month, Surabaya in East Java, Yogyakarta, Semarang and Surakarta in Central Java in 1997. The additional investment will range between Rp 10 and 20 billion per city," he said.

Sibih is optimistic that Telepoint will be able to book 20,000 users in the first year of offering the new service. (icn)