Net1 has invested in two operations which hold the only nationwide 4G licenses for the 450 MHz bands in Indonesia and the Philippines respectively, as well as 3.5GHz (20MHz) spectrum in the Philippines. Both networks are in heavily populated markets with low fixed line internet penetration in rural areas, and topographies where low frequency bands can be particularly effective. The population density in suburban and urban areas in the Philippines, meanwhile, provides a strong opportunity to utilise the bandwidth available under the 3.5GHz frequency.
The 3.5GHz is a standard LTE band and one of the preferred bands for the next generation of mobile networks, 5G. The 3.5GHz frequency can be considered more of a competitor to fixed lines such as DSL and fiber. However, the deployment speed and time to market is unbeatable using a wireless solution.
“We aim to utilize our experience from supplying mobile data network services across the mature Scandinavia region to build up a presence in Indonesia and the Philippines, which are both fast-growing emerging markets,” says JD Fouchard, newly appointed chairman of Net1 International”. Linus Jönsson, CEO of Net1 International, adds:
“Our ambition is to deliver broadband connectivity at an affordable price, while simultaneously creating future proof networks with room for growth. We will do this by building 4G LTE networks with coverage and capacity, which are able to deliver nationwide 4G LTE services, and therefore create the perfect platform for large countries with diffused populations such as Indonesia and the Philippines.”
In Indonesia, Net1 International operates under the Net1 brand, in cooperation with local partner Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia (STI). It has a perpetual license for 2 x 7.5 MHz in the 450 MHz band, which constitutes 15 percent market share of spectrum below 1 GHz. To date, the company has installed close to 600 base stations. Thanks to the propagation benefits of its frequency, Net1’s network already covers over 120m people in Indonesia. The majority of the sites are deployed in the islands of Java and Sumatra.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country with a population of almost 261 million spread across more than 14,000 thousand islands. The country has a fixed internet line penetration of 1.9 percent.
Net1 International has invested in Broadband Everywhere corp operating under the name Net1 Philippines. The company holds the exclusive and perpetual rights to 2 x 7.5 MHz in the 450 MHz band and 20 MHz in the 3.5GHz band. The business is still in the start-up phase, having installed approximately 50 LTE sites on the 450 MHz and 3.5GHz band, providing coverage and capacity in suburban and metro areas. We intend to expand our footprint in the coming year.