From GoI

Mobile-8 to Expand Networks

Publicly-listed telecommunications company Mobile-8 will extend its network to Sumatra, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan and Sulawesi, hoping to increase the number of its subscribers to 4 million by the end of 2007, director Hidajat Tjandrajaja said recently.

"Today, Frenís Mobile-8 services only cover Java, Bali and Madura islands," Tjandrajaja was quoted as saying by Antara.

Mobile-8 also intends to raise the number of its subscribers to 7 million at the end of 2008, he said, adding that Mobile-8ís subscriber number was recorded at 1.4 million as of last August. "This year our target is only 1.8 million subscribers. We will multiply the number next year," he said.

Mobile-8 would thus increase the number of its base transceiver stations (BTS) from 470 to 1,800 in the future. The company has named Huawei as its partner to build the 1,800 BTS across the country.

The hike in the BTS number aims to improve subscriber-handling capacity to 7 million in the future, an increase from 2.2 million this year. Mobile-8 plans to spend $140 million to realize its project in 2007, which would be a sharp rise from $10 million in 2006. "The funds will come from initial public offerings," Tjandrajaja said.

He expressed optimism that Mobile-8`s business potential as a code division multiple access (CDMA)-based cellular operator would be successful, owing to its evolution data optimized (EV-DO) technology services capable of providing subscribers with high quantity and quality data communication and sound.

"I think EV-DO technology services will become more popular in 2007," Tjandrajaja said.

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