XL Axiata Central Region Regional Group Head Rd. Sofia Purbayanti said, “At regional level, we are directly facing tight competition to convince users of data services. Usage patterns and trend of data services on average are growing in all areas, even nationwide. However, customers in every area have their own unique characteristics. In most part of West Java, Central Java, and Yogyakarta where traffic is high, customers are highly mobile and also require good network quality.
Until now, data service usage in Central areas in West Java, Central Java, and Yogyakarta continues to increase. Some areas show significant increases in data services usage, such as Boyolali Regency in Central Java with around 70% increase, City of Banjar in West Java with around 63% increase, and Gunungkidul Regency in Yogyakarta with around 47 percent increase.
For 4G service specifically, the three provinces recorded around 43% increase in traffic. Purworejo Regency in Central Java saw the highest increase of 72% throughout last year. This significant growth of data traffic was driven primarily by streaming services from platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. The trend encourages XL Axiata to continuously increase the quality of its network to support streaming services.
One measure aimed towards this purpose of increasing network quality is fiberization, which has been carried out in most part of West Java, Central Java, and Yogyakarta. Technically speaking, fiberization is a network modernization effort done by connecting Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) though fiber, as well as updating BTS by replacing devices that relied on microwave with those using fiber.
Sofia said that fiberization is also a step forward in preparing for 5G network that will offer higher data transfer speed, higher number of users, and minimum delay or latency. The benefits of this technology can only be obtained if the sites or BTS are connected through fiber. XL Axiata has been undergoing this program in large scale across all of Indonesia since the last three years.
In Central Java, network fiberization has been done in nearly all areas, including large cities such as Semarang, Surakarta, Tegal, Pekalongan, and Purwokerto, to medium cities such as Kudus, Jepara, Magelang, Salatiga, Purworejo, Kebumen, and Cilacap. Fiberization has even reached smaller cities such as Rembang, Blora, Purbalingga, Wonosobo, Karanganyar, and Wonogiri. In West Java, fiberization has been carried out in all municipalities and regencies such as Bandung, Purwakarta, Subang, and Sumedang Regencies, as well as Tasikmalaya, Cimahi, and Cirebon Cities. Likewise, all areas in Yogyakarta such as Bantul, Kulon Progo, Gunungkidul, Sleman, and Yogyakarta have undergone fiberization.
As of the third quarter of 2019, total customers in West Java, Central Java, and Yogyakarta numbered more than 18 million, constituting around 17 percent of XL Axiata’s overall customer base. Data customers amount to around 68% while 4G data customers about 50%. Aside from the three provinces in Java, XL Axiata Central Region service area also includes Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan. Total customers in the Central Region are around 30% of customers nationwide.
Meanwhile, more than 25 thousand 2G/3G/4G BTS had been built in West Java until the third quarter of 2019, spread across 27 municipalities/ regencies. As for Central Java and Yogyakarta, more than 16 thousand 2G/3G/4G BTS are spread in 40 municipalities/ regencies.