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Expanding Network Infrastructure in Sulawesi: XL Axiata 4G Network Reaches 1,900 Villages
XL Axiata has been rapidly enhancing its 4G network in Sulawesi over the past two years, reaching previously isolated rural areas. With the addition of over 700 4G BTS (base transceiver stations), the network now boasts over 9,800 BTS in total. This includes more than 6,400 4G BTS, extending coverage to over 1,900 villages/sub-districts and 805 sub-districts across 108 cities/districts and 6 provinces by the end of 2023.

Makassar, 15 February 2024. PT XL Axiata Tbk (XL Axiata) remains committed to supporting the government's goal of advancing national development by ensuring widespread access to telecommunications and data network infrastructure across Indonesia. Over the past two years, XL Axiata has focused on extending its 4G network to remote rural areas on Sulawesi Island, which was previously inaccessible, by installing over 700 4G BTS. By the end of 2023, with a total of more than 9,800 BTS, including over 6,400 4G BTS, XL Axiata's 4G network has reached over 1,900 villages/sub-districts and 805 sub-districts spanning in 108 cities/districts and 6 provinces.


Marwan O. Baasir, Chief Corporate Affairs of XL Axiata, stated, "Sulawesi presents significant challenges for XL Axiata in establishing telecommunications networks, services, and data infrastructure. The island's extensive and rugged terrain complicates deployment efforts. However, Sulawesi holds strategic importance as the entry point to Indonesia's Eastern Region, hosting pivotal cities and promising markets. Consequently, we are committed to diligently expanding XL Axiata's services across Sulawesi, particularly to remote villages. Some areas are covered through network expansion, while others rely on satellite connectivity."


Marwan emphasized that beyond market expansion, XL Axiata's network development in Sulawesi aligns with the government's objective of ensuring equitable access to high-quality data networks nationwide.


The implementation of a 4G network in Sulawesi province aims to address the community's increasing need for digital literacy, essential for adapting to digitalization across various sectors, such as social, business, and government. Enhanced digital literacy enables easier access and utilization of digital services.


XL Axiata is also enhancing network quality through fiberization, which boosts capacity and customer satisfaction. Currently, over 50% of BTS in Sulawesi are fiberized.


Across Sulawesi, XL Axiata holds the highest number of 4G BTS in South Sulawesi Province, totaling over 5,400 units, followed by Central Sulawesi with approximately 1,200 units. North Sulawesi boasts over 1,100 units, Southeast Sulawesi over 1,000 units, West Sulawesi over 450 units, and Gorontalo over 450 units.


The number of XL Axiata customers throughout Sulawesi is more than 2.4 million customers, with the largest customer base in South Sulawesi, totaling 1.4 million customers, followed by the province of Central Sulawesi.


Meanwhile, XL Axiata Sulawesi Area Caretaker, Mozes H. Baottong expressed, "Establishing a network in Sulawesi is quite challenging. Beyond the geographical obstacles of rugged terrain and archipelago, penetrating the market and earning trust from the local community pose additional difficulties. Hence, our relentless efforts are directed towards maintaining and enhancing network quality to meet customer demands. Over the past two years, we have succeeded in convincing customers, as evidenced through the substantial 30% increase in data traffic across Sulawesi.”


Mozes highlighted that in Sulawesi, approximately 70% of XL Axiata customers actively utilize video streaming services, while around 20% access messenger and social media platforms, and the rest is used for voice calls, video calls, and other services. Apart from being used by individual customers, the XL Axiata network has also been used by corporate customers.


Moreover, XL Axiata's Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) network in Sulawesi has expanded to cover over 322 thousand home-passed (the number of houses covered by XL SATU Fiber services) in Makassar, Palu, Manado, and other cities/regencies, enabling residents to access XL SATU Fiber services. This FMC network expansion will continue to grow in the coming year.


Currently, XL Axiata serves 57.5 million subscribers, supported by over 160 thousand BTS, the majority of which are 4G-enabled. Additionally, XL Axiata fiber optic backbone network spans over 159 thousand km, facilitating data connectivity across the Indonesian archipelago. XL Axiata investment in fiber networks, transmission, backhaul, network modernization, and other network upgrades remains ongoing to ensure increased stability, network capacity, and quality of data services amidst rising data traffic demands.

  • Infrastructure & Network