Mobile-8 moves to net more customers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Cellular company PT Mobile-8 Telecom, the operator of CDMA-based mobile phone service Fren, launched a wireless application system for mobile phone handsets Tuesday in another effort to meet the company's target to raise its subscriber base by 66 percent next year.

Director and chief of corporate affairs Merza Fachys said the system, called b-live, allowed subscribers to access applications such as ring tones, English dictionary, and games and information provided by a number of news portals, from Fren-ZTE C300 and Fren-ZTE C330 mobile telephone handsets.

Further development of the system in the future will allow subscribers to access such applications from other types of handsets, he said.

"With the introduction of the new system, we expect to net five million customers by the end of 2008," Merza said after the launching, adding that by the end of this year, the company expected to have around 3 million subscribers, up from 1.8 million last year.

Merza said that in addition to the new system, the company would also increase its customer base next year through the expansion of its CDMA service into fixed wireless access (FWA) networks.

"Early next year, we will launch FWA in six cities in Java and Kalimantan," he said.

At present, through 1,200 relay towers, Fren services are available in nine provinces: Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali, South Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, North Sumatra and South Sumatra.

Merza said his company was also constructing 1,000 new relay masts in West Sumatra, Lampung, Jambi, East Kalimantan and Riau Islands.

During the first three quarters of this year, Mobile-8 booked a profit of Rp 55 billion, a 513 percent increase from the Rp 9 billion recorded in the same period last year. The company's gross revenue reached Rp 803.8 billion during the January-September period, indicating a 53.8 percent increase over the same period in 2006.(ndr)
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