Jeremiah Ratadhi, Division Head Network Quality Assurance for Indosat, Indonesia is speaking on the challenges of providing backhaul for rural areas, on Day Two of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show, we find out more about the challenges of providing backhaul for LTE in the region.
What have been the main developments and major milestones for you over the last 12 months with regards to LTE?
Indosat plans to modernise 25,000 of our base stations to MSR BTS (Multi-Standards Radio Base Station) that already for LTE. It’s a major project and currently we have 50 per cent competed. However, Indosat is still waiting for the Indonesian government to issue licenses for LTE before we can launch our network.
How much of a challenge do you feel monetising LTE will be?
The challenge will be great since the amount of data traffic is set to increase significantly, while subscribers may not be willing to pay more for the higher speeds. At the same time, ever more OTT players will be able to sell their content thanks to the high-speed LTE networks.
Tell me about the fresh challenges that LTE brings with regard to backhaul?
In many developing countries, it is huge challenge since most of the backhaul is carried radio. However, the end-to-end higher bandwidth required means that radio backhaul is no longer suitable. Carriers need to start to migrate from radio backhaul to fibre, and the time and cost associated with this are the new biggest challenge.
Can initiatives such as RCS Joyn enable carriers to overcome the OTT threat?
Yes, this kind of initiative will enable carriers to charge for content. I believe regulators should place tariffs on OTTs. The carriers contribute significant amounts of tax to local government, while the OTT players enjoy tax-free revenue from outside the country.
There are still some concerns over the performance of the latest handsets with regard to LTE in terms of battery life and call quality. What’s your view?
The same thing happened when 3G was introduced and I believe it will be solved.
Why is attending the LTE Asia conference such an important date in your diary?
I’m looking forward to the networking, the quality of the speaker and the presentation.