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Fibre to the islands

Fibre to the islands

Fibre rollout continues, but how do operators deal with the tricky business of bringing fibre to nations made up of many islands? Recent announcements from Indonesia and the Maldives may help to answer this question.

Recent reports from Indonesia indicate that mobile operator XL Axiata plans to extend its 45,000km fibre-optic backbone network by a further 2,500km and to add 10,000 base transceiver stations linked to fibre for backhaul. Local press has reported that the upgrades are designed to strengthen data network services to customers. There will also be improvements to the 4G LTE mobile internet network outside the capital in cities such as Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

This is a country made up of over 17,000 islands; Indonesian coverage is not a simple task. The construction of this network infrastructure is supported by inter-island fibre-optic cables. Plans are under way to cover more remote areas or expand networks in Western and Eastern Indonesia. The eventual aim is that the XL Axiata mobile data network will reach more than 95% of the population. 

Fibre is also in the news in another island nation. Dhiraagu, the leading telecommunications and digital service provider in the Maldives, which boasts over 1,000, mostly uninhabited, islands, recently celebrated expanding its high-speed fibre broadband network to 75% of households across the country.

Dhiraagu says it is the only service provider in the Maldives to have linked the country from north to south through a 1,253km-long fibre-optic submarine cable network, which is the backbone of the nation’s largest 3G, 4G LTE and fixed broadband network.

The fibre broadband expansion project is part of an initiative to provide high-speed internet throughout the Maldives. Under the project, Dhiraagu has expanded its network from the capital city to all major population centres, connecting 58 islands with its fibre-to-the-home service.

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