Telcos predicting strong growth over next five years

26 Jul 2005

Two of Indonesia’s leading operators, PT Telkom and PT Indosat, predict that the country’s telecoms market will double, or triple, in terms of revenues by 2010. Telkom president director Arwin Rasjid forecasts that, excluding handset sales, the industry will be worth between IDR141 trillion (USD14.37 billion) and IDR181 trillion, up from IDR48 trillion last year. Arwin predicts that by 2010 the number of main lines in service will have doubled from the current figure of around nine million (a teledensity of less than 5%), internet usage will triple to about 48 million users, and cellular penetration will rise from 35 million to more than 100 million – or 42% of the population. Indosat’s president director Hasnul Suhaimi backed up his counterpart’s claims saying that the rapid pace of growth seen over the last twelve years would continue as telecoms penetration in Indonesia remains relatively low, compared to its regional neighbours. However, the task of extending the reach of telecoms services to all will not be an easy one. Arwin highlighted the problems of the country’s geography – a key challenge for telecoms companies looking to develop their infrastructure. “As of last month, our division in the eastern part of Indonesia could only cover 29% of regencies and 9% of villages in the whole of the island of Papua,” he said.