Jakarta, September 17th 2021. PT. XL Axiata Tbk (XL Axiata) continues to build 4G network infrastructure to various remote areas in Eastern Indonesia, including development by optimizing the Universal Service Obligation (USO) scheme, in collaboration with the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI) in at least 181 remote points located in the vast Maluku Islands, as well as in Papua. The operation of the USO BTS, which started in December 2019 and continues to expand throughout 2020, is part of the implementation of XL Axiata's commitment to enter the age of 25 in an effort to Build a Digital Indonesia.
Director & Chief Technology Officer of XL Axiata, I Gede Darmayusa said, "Utilising the USO program, we are trying to help provide 4G networks to remote areas in 14 regencies in the very vast Maluku Islands, starting from Halmahera in North, Central Maluku, to the Aru Islands in the South. In addition, we have also started to serve 10 regencies in Papua and West Papua which on average have difficult terrain. Hopefully the existence of hundreds of 4G network infrastructure will be able to encourage economic productivity and facilitate the social needs of local residents, as well as open their isolation from the outside world.”
Gede said that currently 83 USO 4G BTS points have been operated in North Maluku, spread across South Halmahera Regency, West Halmahera Regency, East Halmahera Regency, Sula Islands Regency, Tidore Islands City, and Taliabu Island Regency. Meanwhile in Maluku Province there are a total of 39 USO BTS, precisely located in Buru Regency, South Buru Regency, Aru Islands Regency, Southwest Maluku Regency, Central Maluku Regency, West Southeast Maluku Regency, Western Seram Regency, and Eastern Seram Regency.
In Papua Province, there are a total of 36 USO BTS, located in Boven Digoel Regency, Mappi Regency, and Merauke Regency. While in West Papua Province there are a total of 23 USO BTS, located in Fakfak Regency, South Manokwari Regency, Maybrat Regency, Sorong Regency, South Sorong Regency, Bintuni Bay Regency and Wondama Bay Regency.
XL Axiata's 4G service in the Maluku Islands, as well as Papua has started operating since December 2019 and will continue to grow throughout 2020. Through this 4G service, data access is available for residents in this region, after previously, their village has never been reached by data network.
Most of the USO BTS location points for the 4G network are in areas that are very far away and difficult to reach from the centre of government, either in the regency or province. For example, USO BTS located in South Halmahera Regency are located in Sosepe and Kelo Villages, East Obi District, Saketa Village, West Gane District, Imbu-imbu Village, West Kasiruta District, Kaireu Village, East Bacan District, and Ocimaloleo Village, South Obi District. The distance of these villages from the regency capital in Labuha, Bacan Island, varies which can reach more than 100 km and some of them are on other islands. The Villages of Sosepe, Kelo, and Ocimaloleo on Obi Island are in the farthest location, which is about 150 km to Labuha, and about 300 km to Ternate the provincial capital, and must cross the island.
After more than a year of operation, currently each USO BTS in this area has served local residents and is actively utilised by hundreds of telecommunication and data service subscribers. Service traffic is also observed to continue to increase in line with the increasing understanding of citizens on the benefits of telecommunication and data networks, including supporting economic and social activities. Residents can also get XL Axiata SIM cards quite easily because most of the distribution has reached the kiosks around the village.
To date, XL Axiata operates a total of 362 USO BTS in 344 villages in 61 regencies and 17 provinces. XL Axiata will continue to strive to provide telecommunication and data services with 4G network qualifications for communities in villages that previously not yet been reached by such services.