Indonesia Telecom Regulator, Badan Regulasi Telekomunikasi Indonesia (BRTI) rewarded telecom operators and stakeholders in a ceremony held on Nov 10 at Hotel Borobudur. Bakrie Telecom (Btel) received the Best Achievement Award for fixed line category, and Indosat was the best in cellular category. The selections were said to be based on consumer satisfaction and brand popularity (55% marks) and network performance (45%) and conducted by an independent research institution Frontier. The winners: Best Achievement Award (Fixed Line): Bakrie Telecom, Runner up: PT Telkom Best Achievement Award (Cellular): PT Indosat, Runner up: Excelcomindo Pratama Award of Appreciation (Print Media): “Bisnis Indonesia” Award of Appreciation (Broadcast Media): Metro TV Award of Appreciation (Online Media): detikcom (detikINET) Lifetime Achievement: Arnold P. Djiwatampu (Reported by Juni Soehardjo in Jakarta)
Hutch’s entry into Indonesia’s mobile market as the 5th significant operator has started putting downward pressure on mobile calling prices, as I had predicted in my Oped piece Lower mobile prices: Through competition or profit regulation? in January of 2007. It is too early to call it a “price war” as the article below does, but the signs that prices are coming down is evident. Indonesia’s mobile retail prices are some of the highest in Asia and there is enough room for the prices to drop further. Currently, Hutch’s competitors are reacting by issuing promotions to match the new entrant’s offering, but this does not per se signify a permanent cut in prices.
As part of a special review of ICT policy in Indonesia, e-Indonesia, the Indonesian ICT monthly magazine, interviewed a number of key stakeholders including the Minister Sofyan Djalil, Commissioners from BRTI, the regulatory body, civil society group, industry reps and ICT experts. LIRNEasia researcher, Divakar Goswami, was also interviewed. The interview is featured in the online edition here. The interview is in bahasa. The English text of the interview is below: 1.
By Divakar Goswami (LIRNEasia) Bisnis Indonesia (Leading financial paper of Indonesia): OpEd (In Bahasa) January 10, 2007 Mobile talk is not cheap in Indonesia. Despite limited competition, mobile calling prices are among the highest in Asia. Only fixed wireline service, where PT Telkom has a de facto monopoly, sees calling prices to be among the lowest in the region as they are rigidly regulated by the government. But as everyone knows, it is difficult to get a fixed line and the quality is poor. It is therefore not surprising that policymakers and regulators in Indonesia have become impatient with the results of competition and started to voice their resentment of the high profits being declared by the private telecom companies.