Qatar Telecommunications Co QTEL said on Saturday it would begin tender offers for shares in Indonesian telecoms firm PT Indosat on Tuesday to lift its stake to 65 percent, the maximum allowed. Indonesia limits foreign ownership in the telecommunication sector to a maximum of 65 percent for mobile phone operators and 49 percent for fixed-line operators. Two tender offers would begin concurrently in Indonesia and the United States at 7,388 rupiahs ($0.661) per share and would expire on Feb. 18, Qtel said.
Second Tsunami-Detection Station To Bolster Indian Ocean System As part of the U.S. effort, in December 2006, NOAA experts and Thai government officials put a deep-ocean assessment and reporting of tsunamis (DART) station in the Indian Ocean, halfway between Thailand and Sri Lanka. (See related article.)DART systems provide real-time tsunami detection as waves travel across open waters, and each station is linked to a satellite for real-time data transmission on global networks.
The Indonesian government is to limit foreign investment in premium call, premium SMS and courier services as they are “businesses to be set aside for domestic small-and medium-scale enterprises.” The Indonesian Communication and Information Minister, Sofyan Djalil, said, “As we know, foreign investors can control up to 95 percent of businesses in all the telecoms sectors, but we have decided that foreign investment in jut a few telecommunications sub-sectors should be limited and left to local entrepreneurs.” Read more.
Licenses have been granted to consortium members for building the Palapa Ring–backbone that will connect the Eastern part of Indonesia that currently relies on satellites with the rest of the country. It is not clear how the licenses were granted and what are the fees and obligations of the license holders. Furthermore, technical and financial feasibility studies are yet to be completed. No access regimes have been developed that will govern how non-consortium members will be able to access the Palapa Ring and on what terms. There couldn’t be a worse possible way of launching such a complex, capital-intensive project that is supposed to transform the ICT infrastructure of Indonesia.
The Indonesian government imposed unreasonable burdens on the new entrant for international service in a recently issued White Paper 140. LIRNEasia highlighted the unfairness of burdening new entrants with obligations that the two existing incumbents (Telkom & Indosat) were not subjected too in comments it submitted to DGPOSTEL (one of the two regulatory bodies): 4.4 The Indonesian policymakers may have misunderstood the concept of asymmetric regulation. Asymmetric rules place additional burdens on dominant group of providers that other operators are not subjected to. In the current White Paper, many additional burdens are imposed on the new entrant that are not imposed on the two incumbents, PT Telkom & PT Indosat.
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.
Inadequate backbone infrastructure in Indonesia has been widely regarded as crippling its telecom sector. Uneven development of the backbone has meant that much of the East of the country has no fiber-optic based backbone network and those islands have to rely on more expensive satellite links. Poor long-haul domestic infrastructure has meant that many parts of the country do not have access to basic communication and those that are connected have some of the world’s highest leased line and Internet prices as my earlier study shows. The Indonesian government’s ambitious Palapa Ring project to create a fiber ring connecting the major islands had been shelved post the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Recently, however, efforts have been made to revive a modified version of the earlier vision.
What will it take? 2004 December 26th 2005 March 28th 2006 July 17th Three tsunamis within less than two years; and the clueless Indonesian government can’t still get its act together. And faraway India is supposed to have issued a warning when there was no chance of a tsunami hitting India. CYA bureaucrat, I guess. A different error.
By Divakar Goswami & Onno Purbo, March 2006 LIRNEasia’s latest research paper is available for comment. The paper looks at the deployment of Wi-Fi in Indonesia, under the 2005 WDR theme, ‘Diversifying Participation in Network Development.’ Download paper: indonesia wi-fi study 2.0 [PDF] Please post your comments below. Executive Summary With their low-cost and quick deployment time, wireless Internet technologies like Wi-Fi offer last-mile access network solutions to developing countries with limited network infrastructure.