Dian Siswarini, who has replaced Hasnul Suhaimi at the helm of Indonesian mobile operator XL Axiata, has set out her stall to upgrade the company’s data services and strengthen its brandings – XL and Axis – as it looks to fend off rivals in an intensely competitive market. The newly appointed CEO told journalists: ‘The telco industry is facing a very challenging year, with voice calls and SMS dropping significantly. Therefore, we have to improve our data service in the future,’ before going on to point out that as data services are much more ‘segmented’ than voice services, XL must ‘identify consumers’ needs and how to satisfy them’. According to the cellco’s internal figures, data traffic exploded last year, climbing 126.7% to 123,824TB from 54,615TB in 2013.
Under her stewardship, Ms Dian said that XL plans to carry out a dual-brand strategy, promoting both XL and Axis equally. The move is a shift from its previous position when XL brand & customer management officer Rashad J Sanchez had said that the operator would use the XL branding to target higher income data users demanding high quality data services, while Axis would be aimed more at low-volume users for whom price was the primary concern. XL Axiata had a total of 59.6 million data subscribers at the start of this year and plans to spend IDR7 trillion (USD537 million) in 2015 – most of which will be ploughed into 3G and 4G improvements.