Fri, 16 Aug 1996

PT Satelindo installs more stations in Greater Jakarta

JAKARTA (JP): Private cellular operator PT Satelindo has added another 100 base transceiver stations to improve its service in the greater Jakarta area.

A company director, Saleh Gunawan, said yesterday that Satelindo has activated the new stations that were installed in July.

"After the installation in Jakarta, Satelindo plans next month to enter Balikpapan, Samarinda and Bontang -- all in East Kalimantan -- and later in Ujungpandang, Sulawesi, as well as Palembang and Medan in Sumatra," he said.

Saleh acknowledged that Satelindo's service has not covered all of the greater Jakarta area even after the installation of the new stations.

He explained that with the additional stations, Satelindo's coverage in the capital city has reached 95 percent and in the greater Jakarta area 90 percent.

The company's chief operating officer, Ron Chesterton, said that Satelindo was investing US$100 million to install the stations in Jakarta and the other cities.

According to Saleh, Satelindo, one of the three operators of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) in Indonesia, currently has 180,000 subscribers in Java and Bali.

Because Jakarta is the key market for cellular telecommunications service, all of the providers are competing to provide better services in the capital.

"When we firstly commenced our GSM service in the greater Jakarta area in November 1994, we had just 54 base transceiver stations installed. Now the number has reached 450 and we will increase it up to 550 by 1997," Saleh said.

Satelindo, which is partly owned by DeTeMobil of Germany, hopes to sign up between 250,000 and 300,000 subscribers by the end of this year.

The government announced recently that there are currently some 360,000 mobile cellular telecommunications users in Indonesia, including 40,000 subscribers to the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT-450) system, 80,000 subscribers to the Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) system and 240,000 GSM subscribers.

In addition to Satelindo, the government has licensed PT Telkomsel and PT Excelcomindo to run GSM services nationwide. (icn)