By Joseph Waring
Indosat plans capex cut after 3G shutdown
Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison (IOH) outlined plans to reduce capex after shutting down its 3G network at end-2022, freeing up spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands.
Vikram Sinha, President Director and CEO, told Mobile World Daily on the sidelines at MWC23 Barcelona it aims to reduce the capex to revenue ratio to below 20 per cent in 2023.
Following a merger with Hutchison Tri a year ago, total capex increased 74 per cent in 2022 to IDR12 trillion ($785.8 million), raising the capex to revenue ratio to 25.7 per cent from 22 per cent in 2021.
The operator turned off 19,000 3G sites last year, with the last 3,000 to be decommissioned soon.
IOH doubled its LTE base station count to 137,000 at end-2022, with 25,000 sites across the island of Java and putting it on par with market leader Telkomsel, Sinha said.
The merger created the second-largest provider in the market with 102.2 million mobile subscribers at end-2022.
Sinha stated that with the government not revealing when it will release C-Band spectrum it is not waiting to move ahead with 5G. “The ecosystem needs to be ready. We started in 2019 and now have close to 500 sites in six cities.”