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Bakrie Telecom Assures that There would Be NO Layoffs

Amir Karimuddin - 6 November 2014

After the official announcement of Bakrie Telecom (BTEL) and Smartfren’s partnership yesterday, one big question remains unsolved; how will the collaboration affect the BTEL’s employees? Will there be a number of them get fired simply because BTEL has practically no network?

We tried to look for an answer by contacting BTEL’s management board. Harya Mitra Hidayat, BTEL’s Director of Compliance and Risk Management, eased our worries by saying that currently BTEL is efficient enough to work on this collaboration. They indeed require a proper team to make sure that partnership runs smooth.

Even though BTEL is about to have no network at all, Hidayat guaranteed that the company would still need technical team to back them up should the future technology which is supported by the government, in this case the establishment of neutral technology in the frequency of 850 MHz, really takes place. It is indeed Smartfren and BTEL’s common goal to implement the fast speed-LTE technology.

In regard to the fact that his company will focus more on cellular sales, Hidayat responded, “According to 36/1999 Law and 52/2000 Government Regulation, there are two recognized telecommunication provider, which are basic telephone provider and network provider. With this collaboration scheme, BTEL acts as the basic telephony provider, while Smartfren acts as the network provider, besides being the provider of basic telephony as well.”

BTEL’s financial condition has yet shown any joyful performance lately. Besides the fact that the company gets sued for not being able to pay for $380 million obligation loan, the financial report of the first half of 2014 suggested that BTEL recorded a total loss of 316 billion. Sadly, it’s not only BTEL, since other CDMA operators also face similar troublesome condition. FYI, in other countries like the U.S, Japan, and South Korea, the CDMA providers have already migrated to LTE technology.

Hidayat is optimistic that the partnership can help BTEL developing and attracting more customers. “We expect that the collaboration may help us upgrading the number of our customers, since it can produce much better services at much more efficient cost,” Hidayat ended.

[Illustration: Shutterstock]

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