Palembang, 13 March 2023. PT XL Axiata Tbk (XL Axiata) has prepared a strong and quality telecommunications network ahead of Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr 2023. Strengthening the telecommunications network needs to be done in anticipation of possible spikes in data usage traffic throughout Ramadan and especially during the long Eid ul-Fitr holiday. XL Axiata has also conducted network tests that took place on the homecoming main routes in various regions, including in Sumatra region.
Director & Chief Technology Officer of XL Axiata, I Gede Darmayusa said, "XL Axiata has prepared a network to serve and maintain customer convenience for the purposes of Ramadan, as well as the long Eid ul-Fitr holiday. Usually, during these two moments, the traffic of telecommunication and data service usage increases significantly. We predict that throughout Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr, XL Axiata's service traffic will increase up to 30% compared to normal days."
Gede added that the increase in traffic every Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr is due to changes in customer behaviour. During these two moments, Indonesian people also increasingly conduct face-to-face meetings online with family and relatives, communities, and friends who have not seen each other for a long time. Digital means are one of the solutions for people, including XL Axiata customers, to establish friendship. In addition, many digital services that provide entertainment and social media can be a means for the community and customers to fill the long holiday period.
Gede estimates that traffic will increase up to 10% during Ramadan compared to traffic on weekdays, and will increase up to 15% when entering the Eid ul-Fitr holiday period. In addition to increasing capacity, other anticipatory measures include network optimisation by looking at the possibility of mobility movements of the public or customers during the Eid ul-Fitr holiday period. For this purpose, a number of areas that are usually the destination of homecoming, especially in Java, will be of special concern.
"Currently, on a normal day, XL Axiata's data network is sufficient to serve the existing traffic. However, to ensure the ability of our network to accommodate traffic spikes later, we still increase our capacity up to 3 times from normal days," added Gede.
A number of network conditioning steps have been taken by XL Axiata's network team by adjusting to the trend of service usage, especially data services, homecoming traditions and customer movements during the long Eid ul-Fitr holidays. The availability of new toll road infrastructure in several areas that will be utilised by the public during the Eid ul-Fitr holiday is also a concern for XL Axiata.
XL Axiata has also alerted adequate resources, both in the form of a technical team that is on standby and will monitor network conditions for 24 hours, 7 days a week, as well as field teams that are ready to move at any time if needed. In addition, there are also deployments and placement of mobile BTS fleets of around 140 units to support network strengthening in various locations prone to traffic density. From XL Axiata's head office, network condition monitoring is also carried out in all operating areas through the Customer Experience & Service Operation Center (CESOC) monitoring centre facility.
Network reinforcement on Sumatra and Java homecoming routes
XL Axiata ensures that most of the main homecoming routes have been served with 4G LTE quality data networks. XL Axiata routinely improves network quality in accordance with traffic increases, including the addition of new BTS, fiber optic network and BTS capacity, as well as network optimisation. This expansion will continue so that services can more evenly reach areas with great economic potential, including those connected to the Trans Sumatra Toll Road.
XL Axiata has around 140 4G BTS along the Palembang - Lampung Trans Sumatra Toll Road, one of the most crowded main sections in Sumatra and the main homecoming route for Eid ul-Fitr. Recently, along the toll road that connects South Sumatra to Lampung and also to Java, there were an additional 63 4G BTS in the Ogan Komering Ilir and South Lampung areas. In addition, XL Axiata also added capacity in 81 BTS located in South Lampung, Central Lampung, Ogan Ilir, Ogan Komering Ilir, Pesawaran, West Tulangbawang Regencies and Palembang City.
In the last two years, there has been a 117% increase in traffic on the Palembang - Lampung Toll Road with a total length of 373 km. In addition to supporting services for XL Axiata customers who are also toll users, XL Axiata's 4G network also serves customers in 484 villages in 35 districts located next to the first expressway in Sumatra.
In addition to Palembang and Lampung Trans Sumatra Toll Road, XL Axiata also added BTS on a number of other Trans Sumatra Toll Road sections, such as 7 4G BTS on Belawan - Medan - Kuala Namu International Airport - Tebing - Indrapura, 3 4G BTS on Bengkulu - Taba Penanjung, 8 4G BTS on Pancing (Medan) - Helvetia - Binjai - Stabat, 17 4G BTS on Pekanbaru - Dumai, and 2 4G BTS on Sigli - Banda Aceh.
XL Axiata is also strengthening network infrastructure including optimising, increasing network capacity, measuring customer experience along the main routes in Java, both toll and non-toll roads, as well as along the railway line, by preparing a network with a capacity 2-3 times greater than during normal days. XL Axiata predicts that there will be an increase in data service traffic of around 20% - 30% during Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr compared to normal days. Currently, a total of more than 2,000 4G BTS support services along the 979 km Trans Java Toll Road.
Special locations that become crowded places every time a long holiday period comes are also not spared. In addition to tourist sites, there are also shopping centres, passenger departure points for land, air and sea transportation modes. Also, of course, strengthening the network along inter-provincial highways, both toll and non-toll, both in Java and outside Java.
This network strengthening is also to support XL Axiata's Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr promo program. As XL Axiata does every year, the Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr Program will offer various attractive promos for prepaid and postpaid customers. These promos certainly provide various additional benefits to customers, which are likely to further spur an increase in traffic.
XL Axiata also continues to improve service coverage and data network quality. Development to expand and improve the quality of network infrastructure, both the addition of 4G BTS and also fibrerizaton continues to be carried out in various regions in Indonesia. To date, XL Axiata's 4G network has served more than 57 million customers with service coverage in more than 61 thousand villages, 5,700 districts, and 469 regencies in 34 provinces of Indonesia, supported by more than 145 thousand BTS including more than 90 thousand 4G BTS, as well as a fibre optic backbone network that stretches for more than 130 thousand km, supporting data networks spread across the vast Indonesian Archipelago.