Growth in mobile data offers more chances for business
Indonesia is seeing rapid growth in mobile data usage, providing cellular operators in the country with ample room for business expansion, Swedish telecommunications and services provider Ericsson has said.
According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, Indonesia was one of 10 countries with the largest growth in mobile internet usage. As of the third quarter of this year, Indonesia recorded 3 million mobile data subscriptions.
The report says about 39 percent of Indonesian people actively use smartphones, contributing to the growth of mobile data usage.
In addition, the report says that about one-third of all smartphone data in Indonesia is consumed through mobile broadband networks, while the rest is accessed through Wi-Fi.
The head of Ericsson Indonesia, Thomas Jul, said only a handful of smartphone owners in Indonesia use a 4G network.
“Currently, only 2 percent of the Indonesian population uses the 4G/LTE network, but by 2018 it is predicted that this will grow to 14 percent because of rapidly increasing smartphone usage,” he said on Thursday.
Jul was optimistic about the growth in the number of the 4G network users, citing the trends by mobile operators and by the industry in general. The increasing affordability of smartphones has become a leading factor in pushing up the growth rate.
Jul particularly underlined the availability of the frequency spectrum housing 3G and 4G networks in Indonesia, which is vital to sustain the growth.
With Indonesia’s major telecommunication operators recently completing 4G/LTE refarming efforts in November, he said that the spectrum accommodation must continue further whenever it can.
Meanwhile, the Communications and Information Technology Ministry is currently looking for companies to handle the refarming process for the 2,100 MHz frequency.
Ericsson Indonesia’s vice president for marketing and communications, Hardyana Syintawanti, was optimistic the growth of mobile data usage will be sustained because of trends among consumers and in the industry.
Operators, she added, would also play a role in increasing smartphone usage through various promotions and subsidies.
The report further noted that mobile subscriptions in the Asia-Pacific region in general will exceed 1 billion, accounting for 14 percent of the global market, with a 4 percent growth expected between 2015 and 2021.
Ericsson itself in early November had partnered with telecom companies PT XL Axiata, PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) and PT Indosat Ooredoo to provide the physical infrastructure to sustain the operators’ newly activated 1,800 MHz 4G/LTE network, by providing the necessary base transceiver stations (BTS) for transmissions.