Indonesian mobile operator Telkomsel continues to develop its 5G network and services across the country, but remains cautious that, given the demographics of the population, the investment spent must be commensurate with the yields it is likely to obtain. Vice President Corporate Communications, Saki Hamsat Bramono, is quoted as saying that whilst the cellco is still investing in 5G, it has to be ‘careful, precise and accurate’. He explained, before considering the deployment of 5G in any area, Telkomsel reviews ‘the population, the average revenue per user (ARPU) or income per user that the company can get and the penetration of 5G cellphones in that area’. As such, the company is seeking only areas where it can realistically consider monthly ARPU of over IDR200,000 and a calculation that ‘the penetration of 5G devices in the region will reach 75% before deploying 5G’. Currently, Telkomsel has 284 5G base transceiver station (BTS) towers spread across Indonesia since the launch of commercial 5G services two years ago. IndoTelko notes that, when asked about the target of adding 5G this year, Saki said there were not many targets and referred again to these considerations. ‘Broadband internet use in terms of data consumption in Indonesia, including 4G and 5G, is currently still dominated by video streaming applications, namely TikTok and YouTube,’ he added.

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