The number of smartphone users in Indonesia is expected to grow strongly up to (at least) 2019 in line with overall economic growth of Southeast Asia's largest economy in combination with rising Internet penetration as well as the young and large population according to market research company eMarketer. Currently, less than 40 percent of the Indonesian population owns a smartphone (implying a still low smartphone penetration rate), while Indonesia is busy expanding its 4G technology network (a necessity for smartphone or tablet users) across the Archipelago.
17 October 2019 (closed)
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Today's Headlines 4G Long Term Evolution
Although advanced markets have already been enjoying 4G technology (short for fourth generation) for a couple of years, Indonesia is still in the middle of developing and expanding its 4G network across the archipelago. This context implies that Indonesia's telecommunication tower providers have ample opportunity for growth, supported by rising smartphone penetration. Within the next five years, the smartphone penetration rate of Indonesia is estimated to grow from 37 percent to 50 percent.
Latest Columns 4G Long Term Evolution
Local and foreign smartphone vendors are eager to assemble 4 Generation long term evolution (4G LTE) smartphones in Indonesia. No less than 26 companies (and brand owners) have established assembly plants in Southeast Asia's largest economy with a combined investment value of USD $600 million since 2015. Of these 26 companies, 14 are local players. The number of foreign smartphone manufacturers in Indonesia is expected to grow as a new government regulation comes into force per 1 January 2017.
Indosat Ooredoo, Indonesia's second-largest telecommunication networks and services providers, is expected to post net profit in 2016 after three straight years of net losses. Supported by its new 4G/LTE network - now available in 27 Indonesian cities (and 16 more cities are targeted to be added to this network in 2016) - the company's performance should improve. Moreover, lower US dollar-denominated debt will also contribute positively to Indosat Ooredoo's corporate earnings. At end-2015 the company had 69.7 million mobile phone subscribers.
The government of Indonesia targets to see 35 million domestically-produced mobile phones (per year) starting from 2017. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s wireless network is to be upgraded to 4G speeds by the same year (a 4G network is the new necessity for those with smartphones or tablets) although currently the country’s telecommunication operators are still in the middle of building receivers to boost 3G utilization. The government hopes to see a total of USD $4.5 billion investment in the telematics sector.
Despite sharp competition, slowing profit margins and a saturating voice and SMS services market, Indonesia’s telecommunications industry still has lucrative prospects as there is still room for growth in data services, value-added services and still relatively low smartphone penetration (as well as low Internet penetration). However, of the big three Indonesian telecommunication network and services providers - Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), XL Axiata and Indosat - only Telkom managed to post net profit over 2014.
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