Indonesian tower owner and operator Protelindo is to receive a $50 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank.
The investment is intended to help Protelindo (Jakarta, Indonesia) build more towers and expand mobile coverage on the islands of Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan, as well as other parts of the country.
Protelindo was set up in 2003 and now operates about 9,000 towers across Indonesia, selling services to all of the country’s operators, which include Axis (Jakarta), Hutchison (Hong Kong), Indosat (Jakarta), Telkomsel (Jakarta) and XL Axiata (Jakarta).
“Indonesia’s geographical challenges mean that telecommunications plays a key role in the country’s infrastructure development,” said Adam Gifari, the chief executive of Protelindo.
The IFC notes that most Indonesians live in rural areas poorly served by transport infrastructure and are therefore heavily reliant on the use of mobile phone services to conduct business operations.
According to data published by the International Telecommunications Union, a part of the United Nations, mobile subscriptions in Indonesia grew by 13% between 2011 and 2012, to 282 million.
“Improving infrastructure is critical in driving Indonesia’s economic growth,” said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC’s infrastructure and natural resources manager for East Asia and the Pacific. “Our investment in Protelindo is part of our commitment to accelerating infrastructure development in Indonesia, particularly in the telecommunications sector.”
The IFC said that besides aiding the development of Indonesia’s telecoms sector, it was also helping to build and upgrade the country’s other infrastructure, including ports, power plants and transportation.