Investments by Indonesia’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, Telkomsel, reached USD2.2 billion last year, helping drive annual subscriber growth of around 11%, according to Pamasuka Jowvy Kumala, the firm’s corporate communications director. However, he warned that the industry was potentially entering a period of consolidation: ‘This industry will enter the era of transformation that is merging with mobile phone Internet services, video, and digital products of others,’ he said.
Telkomsel, which aims to reach 100-million subscribers by the end of 2010, currently has around 85 million customers, up from just 16.3 million users at 31 December 2004. It controls a little over 50% of the market ahead of major rivals Indosat and Excelcomindo. Of this amount, pre-paid card (simPATI) users account for the highest proportion of Telkomsel users – at 59 million – followed by Kartu As (21 million) and post-paid services kartuHALO with two million subscribers. Total communications traffic in 2009 increased year-on-year driven by a 21% increase on SMS from 107 billion to 129 billion, while voice traffic jumped 203% to 273 billion minutes, from 90 billion minutes in 2008. Utilisation of data services also increased by 178% to 9125TB, compared to 3284TB in 2008. Telkomsel’s mobile broadband base is expanding rapidly. The number of subscribers increased 700% to 1.6 million from 200,000 subscribers in 2008. In 2009 Telkomsel been built around 3,500 Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) to raise its total to 30,500, reaching more than 95% of the population of Indonesia, cites TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.