Cellular Market Competition in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to three of major mobile operators, Indosat, Telkomsel and XL Axiata, once famous for the sales of its towers for allegedly paying its debts and its integration with another telecommunications provider, Axis Capital Group.


As the mobile growth of the archipelago continues to dominate not only Indonesia but also the world, the competition between these dominating companies is also getting fiercer. These three nationwide cellular operators collectively had around 88.0% of the Indonesian cellular market (full mobility). The number of full-mobility cellular subscribers in Indonesia totaled approximately 138.8 million at the end of 2008 and approximately 166.9 million at the end of 2009, representing an annual growth rate of approximately 20.2% during that period. In the latest reviews, subscribers had grown to 202 million at the first quarter of 2015, around 75% growth rate from 6 years ago. Jakarta remains to be the largest users with 100 million individuals located in the city. Indonesia is currently the third largest mobile market across the globe.


GSM mobile cellular operators compete principally on the basis of pricing, brand, network coverage, network quality, distribution, technology, value-added services and service quality. We believe that Telkomsel is able to compete effectively in the Indonesian cellular market due to the high network quality and coverage of its mobile cellular network and the strength of its brand name.


So why is it that Indonesia remains to be the hub of mobile users where the world’s 4th most populous country has its number doubled by mobile phones?


1. The scope is big


As mentioned, Indonesia is the 4th place next to China, India and USA with the largest population. While there are bigger mobile markets in total volume, no other big market offers such a low competition as Indonesia.


2. Challenge and more challenge


Since the archipelago is one of the developing countries in the world, we cannot deny the fact that there are a lot of issues to solve. Seeing this, mobile operators brush shoulders just to be the first to fix an issue. As many citizens have a lot of complaints regarding the slow connection, the major operators and subscribers are continuously finding ways to improve the connection’s quality.


3. Young Subscribers


Young Indonesians are tech savvy and eager to try new technologies. It is the youth that is looking up to the coolest and newest technology, especially that is coming from the west. It can happen in a blink of an eye that something new and cool comes to the market that captures the attention of the youth and gets in their hearts.