JAKARTA - Indonesia's second biggest telecoms firm Indosat is earmarking at least 700 million dollars to develop its lucrative cellular telephone communication business in 2005, a report said. "The 700 million dollar amount is deemed enough. We are also considering to issue bonds or borrow from banks," Indosat finance director Wong Heang Tuck said according to the Media Indonesia newspaper.
Some 500 million dollars will come from the company coffers while the rest will be obtained from bank loans or the issuance of bonds, Indosat vice president Ng Eng Ho was also quoted by same daily as saying. Ng said that the company wanted to develop its cellular network outside of the country's heavily-populated Java island and expand its coverage area across the Indonesian archipelago.
Indosat cellular service marketing Hasnul Suhaimi was also quoted by the daily as saying that the company expected to raise its cellular customers by 3.5-4.0 million in 2005. Company figures show its cellular customers will stand at 9.1 million by end of October.
Indosat currently claims to hold 31 percent of the market share in cellular services in Indonesia. It booked a 78 percent leap in profits in the first half of 2004 due to cellphone expansion, drawing in 77 million dollars.