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Business

Subscriber saturation adds allure to corporates

Executives of Indonesian mobile operator Indosat Ooredoo are among those looking to corporate clients for new ways to squeeze growth out of a saturated market.

JAKARTA -- Indosat Ooredoo and Telkomsel, Indonesia's two largest mobile operators, hope to stimulate business by going beyond traditional customer bases that are reaching saturation.

     Indosat, which recently rebranded itself as Indosat Ooredoo to reflect the majority shareholding of Qatar's Ooredoo, introduced on Tuesday Indosat Ooredoo Business, its new flagship targetting corporates, including small and medium companies.

     According to Chief Executive Alexander Rusli, 20% of Indosat's revenue at present comes from just 2,000 corporate clients while the remainder comes from 69 million individual subscribers.

     "In the long run, I think the ideal composition is 50-50 for revenues from the corporate segment and from individual clients," Rusli told reporters at an Indosat Ooredoo Business event.

     "Corporate business is more stable," he said. The company is tempting corporate clients with the e-money product Dompetku and e-commerce platform Cipika.co.id, as well as data center services, better connectivity and other mobile solutions.

     Herfini Haryono, Indosat Ooredoo's chief wholesale and enterprise officer, said the company is increasingly targeting small and medium businesses.

     "There are a total of 55 million small and medium enterprises in Indonesia, but only 500,000 of them have gone online," Haryono said. "Indonesia Ooredoo wants to participate in helping (these) businesses grow into game changers, by giving them ICT solutions."

     Ririek Adriansyah, president of Telkomsel, Indonesia's largest mobile operator, also talked on Tuesday about new marketing strategies. The subsidiary of state-run Telekomunikasi Indonesia currently has 149 million subscribers across the country, but Adriansyah said the number is unlikely to grow much more.

     "This is also the trend in many countries," he said. "What will increase is data usage and digital applications."

     Adriansyah said that as the Indonesian partner of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel),  Telkomsel will concentrate on boosting data services, including the mobile banking platform it is promoting in a number of regions. Mobile banking services could reach many "unbankable" Indonesians  -- in a population of 250 million, only 60 million have bank accounts.

     With many also still using second generation (2G) services, Adriansyah said mobile banking services do not need to be app based but can use text.

     "And the services will be in line with the government's campaign for a non-cash society," he said.

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