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.