ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Telcom vendors see increase in 3G demand
Telecommunication equipment vendors say the demand for solutions that operate third generation (3G) network technology is on the rise alongside the rapid increase in data services that cell phone operators provide.
Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) Indonesia’s president director, Dharmesh Malhotra, said that cell phone operators had been purchasing base transceiver stations (BTS), which can run not only 3G technology but also long-term evolution (LTE).
“Most of the transceivers sold are those called Single RAN, which can run 2G [second generation], 3G and LTE radio access technologies,” he said.
Malhotra added that operators chose these multifunctional transceivers because they had to anticipate future network
technology, with LTE being the next big move.
“Most operators are looking toward LTE, and we are observing how they move into that technology,” he said.
“We are also looking to assist CDMA [code division multiple access] cell phone operators moving to LTE,” he added.
The next big technology for Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network operators is LTE, which enables faster data transmissions than 3G.
Several operators have run limited tests on LTE networks but the technology cannot be implemented nationwide, as the necessary telecommunication regulations and technical specifications connected to LTE roll-out are not yet in place.
Malhotra added that these multifunctional transceivers could be set to operate on a certain technology, and operators were increasingly ordering those from his company to be switched to 3G.
He pointed out that 3G accounted for 60 to 65 percent of the technology deployed in the market last year.
He went on to say that demand at NSN Indonesia was “in line with the market”, adding that the market uptake of 3G technologies deployed this year could rise to 65 to 70 percent.
PT Telekomunikasi Seluler (Telkomsel) previously pointed out that based on business guidelines, around 70 percent of the approximately 1,000 new transceivers installed every month would run 3G networks.
Ericsson Indonesia spokesperson Hardyana Syintawati added that operators were pursuing 3G network expansion because that was where the growth in market demand was.
“Besides, 2G has left a large footprint in Indonesia, given that operators have deployed this technology since around 1996,” she said.
“However, they started introducing 3G in 2005 or 2006, so there is a lot of catching up to do,” she added.
Telkomsel reported that it had a total 69,864 transceivers at the end of 2013, 38.7 percent of which operated on 3G.
Of the 69,864 transceivers, 15,567 began operating in 2013.
In line with this trend, those operating on 3G dominated the 15,567 new transceivers in 2013, accounting for 74.5 percent.
Hardyana added that Ericsson similarly expected demand for 3G technology to rise as operators continued to bolster their mobile broadband services.
“Operators have been discussing ways to improve user experience when utilizing mobile broadband,” she said.
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