Indonesian telco Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison has taken on kit Finnish vendor Nokia to expand its 4G and 5G coverage in a new three year deal.

Nokia will serve up solutions from its ReefShark-powered AirScale portfolio which includes base stations and 5G Single RAN as part of the deal, which will cover an area of 1.4 million square kilometers including Sumatra island, Kalimantan island, Central Java and Surabaya city.

Spectrum owned by Indosat will be merged into a single network, and upgrades to 5G services will apparently be activated remotely with a software update or with a plug-in card. The rollout is expected to begin this month.

“We are excited to collaborate with our long-standing partner Nokia on this crucial project to consolidate and expand our networks for optimal utilization of our resources while providing a world-class digital experience to our subscribers,” said Vikram Sinha, President Director and CEO of Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison. Nokia’s 5G-ready and industry-leading solution will help us maximize the asset utilization even as we future-proof our investments and enhance network performance.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, added: “We are looking forward to supporting Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison in this crucial initiative to expand its coverage footprint and prepare the networks for more innovative 5G services in the near future. Nokia’s 5G-ready AirScale portfolio will help Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison to launch next-generation services while helping it to bring down its operational expense.”

Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison came into being in January 2022 following a merger between Indonesian telcos CK Hutchison and Ooredoo. In order to get the regulatory green light, the firm has had to commit to grow the number of new mobile sites in the country by at least 11,400 by 2025, and expand coverage to at least 7,660 new villages and sub-districts over the same time frame. It is also expected, rather specifically, to improve service quality by boosting download throughput by 12.5% or more and upload by 8%. This deal with Nokia will be a key piece in the puzzle to help it achieve these ambitious goals.

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