Hutchison Charoen Pokphand Telecom (HCPT) Indonesia, the latest player to enter the crowded Indonesian mobile market, has said it is ‘happy’ with the positive response it has received from consumers, despite intense competition from more established operators. In an interview with The Jakarta Post, the company’s chief marketing officer Suresh Reddy said: ‘Despite the fact that we’re a new player in the industry here, our growth is just as good as we expected, and we’re happy with that.’ However, the HCPT official declined to provide any information on subscriber uptake in the three months since the fledgling operator launched commercial services, only noting that business was ‘quite promising’. HCPT is a joint venture of Hutchison Telecommunications International of Hong Kong and Thai agribusiness group Charoen Pokphand. Despite the strong competition it is confident that it can take a slice of the rapidly expanding domestic mobile market by launching its pre-paid 3 against the likes of GSM players Telkomsel, Indosat and Excelcomindo, and CDMA operators Mobile-8, Bakrie Telecom and Telkom. Although mobile penetration currently stands at around 27%, it is forecast to rise to around 50% by 2010. Telkomsel is the dominant player with about 38 million subscribers, ahead of Indosat’s Satelindo unit (17 million) and Excelcomindo (ten million).
HCPT plans to invest USD1 billion over the next two years to cement its foothold in the market. Its short term objective is to ‘broaden its network coverage nationwide and ensure good quality services at affordable prices,’ Reddy said.