With Broadband TV Connect Asia relocating to Jakarta this February, who better to talk to about the challenges and opportunities in Indonesian telecoms that Broadband TV Connect Asia keynote Prashant Gokarn, Chief Strategy & Digital Services Officer at leading regional teclo Indosat?
We certainly can’t think of anyone..
Thomas Campbell: Hi Prashant, are there any factors, distinct to the Indonesian ecosystem, you think are especially challenging to negotiate?
Prashant Gokarn: In terms of the business here, we have about 70 million customers with an average ARPU of about $2.5 a month. Data pricing in Indonesia is probably among the lowest in the world.
How does this affect your strategy going forward?
The way we look at the business we want to grow is two ways. One, to find more customers and sell more data, voice and SMS to our 70 million customer base
The other way to look at our business, to look at our customer base of 70 million and think of new services we can offer them. We know what they like, where they are, who they call and what they consume and see on the internet. Our customers are connected to us at nearly all hours of the day. We can use this knowledge and our access to customers to serve content, advertisements and physical goods in the most optimum way.
Tell us more about the other services you’re able to offer?
Besides voice, SMS and data, we serve our customers a variety of services – both virtual and physical. Our financial services business enables our customers to transfer money, pay for groceries, utilities, online games, ecommerce etc., buy insurance, take micro loans and many others. Our mobile advertising business helps advertisers maximise their ad spend on both mobile smartphones and SMS through the strongest analytics in the market. Our e-Commerce business uses the access we have of a 70 million base to offer customers the best deals on electronics, good, travel etc. Our content business offers strong music, video and gaming options to customers.
It’s not just SMS, voice and data: we are Indonesia’s leading digital services provider and take pride in the service range we offer our customers.
Do you have a triple play strategy?
Our fibre-to-the-home/pay-TV business is quite new. It’s less than a year old. We have 100% fibre all the way to the customers’ home and offer 10X better customer experience and speed at a price point lower than the high prices for fixed broadband in the market today. Our planned pay-TV offerings are predominantly partnership and OTT based. This offers much greater customer experience and choice compared to only standard linear television.
We also offer live TV and HD and we have also been upgrading in preparation for 4K. It’s all on a fibre network so the quality’s really superb.
What opportunity do you still see in Indonesian fixed broadband?
The quality of home broadband in this market is actually quite poor: the pricing is high and the penetration levels are very low – fixed broadband penetration is only about 10%. So we see a huge opportunity here for us to make a big difference in terms of quality, customer experience and also the price points. That’s the basis to push forward with fixed broadband.
What’s the significance in Broadband and TV Connect Asia relocating to Jakarta – and what are you looking forward to most about attending?
Well, Indonesia is by far the largest economy of the region, the largest economy in South East Asia.
The TV aspect is quite relevant. The live TV broadcast industry has not entirely embraced pay-TV as some of them fear ad spend fragmentation. For me it would be a good opportunity to engage with both linear TV broadcasters and OTT specialists to see how we, at Indosat Ooredoo, can partner with them.