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August 30, 2008

Indosat raises spending by 16%
Publicly listed PT Indosat, Indonesia’s second-largest telecommunications provider, will spend more capital this year than its original estimate in a bid to attract more subscribers by increasing its network coverage, reported local daily Jakarta Post.

Indosat president director Johnny Swandi Sjam said after a shareholders meeting Thursday the company would spend $1.4 billion this year, or 16 percent higher than the previously targeted $1.2 billion.

"By optimising capacity and coverage, the company aims to get 12 million new subscribers this year," Johnny said.

At the end of last year, the company's subscriber base stood at 24.4 million after $1.2 billion in capital expenditure had been spent on expansion in 2007.

To gain more subscribers this year, the company will build 3,000 base transceiver stations (BTSs), mostly outside Java. As of June 30, 1,304 units had been built. At the end of last year, the company had 12,064 BTSs in operation.

Indosat is 40.8 percent owned by Qatar Telecom (QTel), 14.4 percent by the government and 44.7 percent by the public.

QTel agreed to pay US$1.8 billion in June to Singapore Technologies Telemedia for its stake in Asia Mobile Holding, which owns a 40.8 percent stake in Indosat.

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