Indonesia’s second largest telecommunications operator by subscribers and revenue, Indosat Ooredoo, is allocating an even bigger share of its resources to bolster expansion in the data services market over the next three years. It has earmarked IDR7 trillion (USD511 million) to IDR8 trillion in fiscal 2016 to improve its capabilities in this area, with Waleed Mohamed Al-Sayed, deputy CEO for the Ooredoo Group, saying: ‘We’re spending more on Indonesia because of the size of the country. If things get better, then hopefully we can spend more on increasing our network’s capacity and speed. These are the streams that we want to improve in, focusing on strengthening our data services.’ The bulk of Indosat’s CAPEX will be targeted at increasing the coverage of its 4G network, which currently covers 27 cities, and also expanding the rollout of its fibre-optic service.
TeleGeography notes that Indosat Ooredoo returned to profit in the three months ending 31 March 2016, posting first quarter net income of IDR217.20 billion, compared to a net loss of IDR455.50 billion for the corresponding period of 2015. The carrier also reported strong gains in revenue, as quarterly sales increased to IDR6.81 trillion, from IDR6.09 trillion in 1Q15, driven by a 15.8% year-on-year rise in cellular revenues (i.e. voice, data, SMS and value added services [VAS]) – the group’s single largest contributor to turnover (83%); fixed data and fixed voice accounted for 13% and 4% respectively. EBITDA surged 13.7% y-o-y to IDR2.96 trillion, and EBITDA margin improved by 0.8 of a percentage point to 43.5%.
Indosat Ooredoo closed out March 2016 with a total of 69.8 million mobile subscribers, up 4.9% on an annualised basis, of whom some 29.2 million (or 42.3% of the total) were connected to data services using a smartphone. Indosat Ooredoo confirmed that the growing customer base drove its y-o-y data revenue growth to 45.5%, helping data services earn the company more revenue than voice services. Monthly blended ARPU of IDR26,400 marked a 9.9% improvement from IDR24,000 a year earlier, as total data traffic soared 60.5% to 63,987TB; minutes of use (MOU) was also up, climbing 2.4% to 68.9 minutes per month.