Link Net: Beyond speed, more than 3 million homes connected
First Media, Link Net's flagship, makes sure fixed broadband service is not only about speed.
Reflecting a continuing leap towards advancement, the Q1 2023 report by the Association of Indonesian Internet Service Providers (APJII) reveals a 1.17% rise in internet penetration in the country. A total of 215,626,156 individuals (78.19% of the total population of 275,773,901) in Indonesia have become active participants in the digital sphere.
This upsurge, based on the APJII survey, was also followed by an increase in the use of fixed broadband services in which the majority (62.22%) of users demand speed and stability.
As one of the players in the industry, PT Link Net Tbk through its flagship, First Media, has combined speed with stability and accessibility to create a satisfying customer experience.
But Link Net Chief Technology Officer Edward Sanusi espouses a more expansive perspective. “We don’t only focus on purely technical aspects, such as speed and bandwidth, but also embrace a broader dimension of content,” Sanusi told Asian Telecom.
He said speed or any convergence of technical aspects like network stability can only genuinely enhance the customer experience if it is harmoniously complemented by a broader vista of content offerings.
The availability of premium content is a service that is taken seriously by First Media, who goes beyond simply increasing the number of available cable TV channels.
“We understand that our customers want wider and more diverse access to entertainment, which is why we have integrated streaming services through collaboration with various OTT (Over-TheTop) partners,” Sanusi said.
At present, several OTT services have collaborated with First Media such as CATCHPLAY+, Viu, MOLA, CinemaWorld On Demand, and Lionsgate Play. And since each subscriber has unique preferences, the service has designed packages that are flexible to suit their individual preferences a wide selection of content.
One of the options are the Stream package, which caters to internet users with streaming preferences; and the Premium Channels that packages diverse genres like sports, news, movies, and spiritual content.
First Media’s proactive stride includes a partnership with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider. “We understand that content streaming from big platforms such as YouTube (Google) and Netflix has significant traffic in Indonesia. To increase the accessibility and speed of this streaming experience, we have placed a CDN node within our own data centre,” Sanusi said.
This is strategic move charts First Media’s trajectory since partnering with a CDN ensures rapid access to Indonesia’s streaming giants. Additionally, localised CDN nodes translate to buffer-free, uninterrupted streaming delight.
Beyond shaping content, First Media also embarks on technological innovation. Sanusi noted their pioneering introduction of HD TV channels in Indonesia, elevating viewer experiences with vivid clarity.
They further pioneered by being the first to offer a Google-certified Android set-top-box (STB) in Indonesia. Plus, they globally debuted the adoption of Widevine CAS, ensuring content security on the 4K Android set-top-box, Smart Box X1 Prime.
All these are part of First Media’s commitment to integrating cutting-edge technology and thrilling features, enriching user interactions, and motivating intuitive, user-friendly interfaces.
Elaborating on their product evolution, Sanusi said they went on a groundbreaking repackaging of First Media’s service package for all Indonesian Internet users. This revamp entailed up to 5x faster Extreme Speed Upgrade, soaring up to 500 Mbps across the fixed broadband network.
A range of customer-tailored packages were also unveiled to infuse a personal touch into their offerings.
Illustrating the diversity, he presented three distinct packages: the Stream package, boasting speeds from 30 Mbps, bundled with streaming gems like HBO GO, Viu, and CinemaWorld On Demand; the Joy package, beginning at 50 Mbps, inviting viewers to a realm of varied cable TV channels; and the Star package, with robust speeds from 250 Mbps, accompanied by an extensive selection of cable TV channels.
These Star packages include the Smart Box X1 and enhanced Dual Band Routers, equipped with MU-MIMO technology, which turbocharges capacity and efficiency for a better internet experience.
Reliability of First Media’s internet speed is anchored on its dynamic preventive maintenance.
“We prioritise prevention over reactive solutions,” Sanusi said, adding that they focus on anticipating downtime risks, like those caused by infrastructure projects. For instance, if a cable line faces potential disruption due to construction activities, they promptly reroute it, diminishing interference prospects.
This proactive stance aligns with their goal of ensuring uninterrupted, smooth customer experiences, underscoring their unwavering dedication to reliable connectivity.
Interaction with customers
Digging deeper, Sanusi perceives customer experience as a blend of not only products and infrastructure but also exceptional service. Hence, Link Net delves into refining this with Omnichannel prowess.
“Our Omnichannel embraces diverse touchpoints like Contact Center, Website, Chatbot FITA, and My FirstMedia app. We’re resolute in affording easy, tailor-made interaction avenues for customers,” he said.
This constitutes a pivotal facet of their concerted endeavors, fostering attentive listening, prompt responses, and effective solutions. As a corollary, Link Net dedicates considerable attention to enhancing self-service paradigms via First Media Digital Self-care.
“Our goal is seamless access to vital solutions. Customers can swiftly navigate questions or service issues,” he said. He underscored their ongoing augmentation of the My FirstMedia app, facilitating self-troubleshooting, bill checks, payments, network status scrutiny, and more.
His insight is that these investments embody Link Net’s unwavering pledge to furnish pertinent, innovative solutions, adeptly adapting to the flux of rapidly changing trends.
So far, Link Net has succeeded in adding 186,000 homes passed to the network as of June 2023.
The total network currently reaches more than 3 million homes passed spread across 27 cities including Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, Serang, Cilegon, Semarang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Tegal, Surabaya, Gresik, Sidoarjo, Malang, Bali, Kediri, Bandung, Cirebon, Cikampek, Purwakarta, Medan, Batam, Sukabumi, Purwokerto, Subang and Sumedang.
In May 2023, Link Net announced that it would transform its residential broadband business into a Fiber Co and focus on the core activity of developing Fixed Line network.
In a momentous juncture last June 28, XL Axiata (EXCL) and Link Net inked a Fiber to the Home Network Development and Operation Agreement. This pact orchestrates a joint effort to build 1 million of homes passed networks across various Indonesian cities and regions.
The concerted construction, slated for completion within a year, envelops over 10 cities and districts, transcending the confines of Java to realise Link Net’s widespread connectivity aspirations.