Indonesia’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, PT Indosat, is forecasting that data users will swell rapidly in 2013 to account for the majority of its total user base by the year end, driven by strong demand for smartphones and internet access. The Jakarta Post quotes Indosat director and chief commercial office Erik Meijer as saying: ‘We expect data subscribers to increase from 49% to 60% [of the total],’ in fiscal 2013.
The cellco experienced fluctuating fortunes in terms of its subscriber base last year, which fell by 2.3% to 50.914 million in Q2 2012, before rallying to 55.451 million by end-September. Although fourth-quarter financial and operational data is not yet available, Indosat earned IDR1.6 trillion (USD165.6 million) in net profits for the first nine months of 2012, up 55.4% when compared to the same period in the previous year. Revenues for 9M12 reached IDR16.5 trillion, up 7.6% year-on-year, with Mr Meijer saying that in 2013, the company is aiming to grow its business ‘at least in accordance with industry growth’ – estimated at between 7% and 8%. Further, data subscribers contributed about 20% to the group’s total revenues last year, he added noting that each data subscriber could generate ‘as much as 30 times more traffic than three years ago’.