Indonesia’s largest mobile phone operator, PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel), has signed a deal with PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia, manufacturers of the Galaxy series of devices, to spur smartphone penetration in Indonesia.
Alistair Johnston, marketing director of Telkomsel, said that the deal was part of the mobile operator’s plan to develop the firm’s device, network and application (DNA) strategy to boost data traffic on their third generation (3G) broadband network by getting more Internet-enabled mobile devices equipped with mobile applications connecting to the network.
Telkomsel, among other mobile operators, has been keen on pushing data consumption partly due to waning average revenues per unit (ARPU), or the revenues it makes per mobile phone user, for voice and short text messages (SMS) as people increasingly communicate through Internet-based messaging services.
Based on research compiled by MobileMonday, the ARPU in Indonesia is Rp 23,238 (US$2.40) per month.
“Samsung is able to provide third generation [3G] devices that can cater to all of Telkomsel’s consumer segments,” Johnston said, adding that Samsung was a strong provider of Android-based smartphones.
Recent noteworthy launches of Android-powered devices by Samsung include the Samsung Galaxy S III. Meanwhile, the company has also introduced other Android-based devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which was launched in Southeast Asia from Jakarta.
Some Android-based smartphones manufactured by Samsung, such as the Samsung Galaxy Y, are priced as low as roughly Rp 1 million, while the Samsung Galaxy S III carry prices beyond Rp 6 million.
The International Data Company (IDC), based on their study, reported that Android dominated 52 percent of the Indonesian smartphone operating system market as of the second quarter of the year, as device makers, including the Korea-based Samsung, launched a slew of Android-based devices.
Meanwhile, to keep up with growth in 3G-enabled devices, Telkomsel has expanded its number of 3G base transceiver station (BTS) to 13,415 units as of September, up 49 percent from the same period last year.
Andre Rompis, PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia vice president for mobile phones, said that, through the deal between the companies, Telkomsel would offer special mobile phone plans for Samsung device users.
Samsung has witnessed a 40 percent growth in the number of Android smartphones as of the third quarter of 2012.
“Samsung considers Telkomsel as a strategic partner because they [Telkomsel] have the highest number of subscribers, besides having the widest network reach,” he said.
Telkomsel currently has more than 121 million subscribers, including 52.7 million data plan subscribers.
Ricardo Indra, Telkomsel spokesman, added that mobile operators have sought to increase their number of smartphone users through the collaboration with Samsung.
The mobile operator currently provides service to 18 million subscribers with smartphones. As many as two million of those subscribers utilize an Android-run device.
“We seek to acquire four million new Android smartphone users who utilize a Samsung going onto on our networks by the end of 2013,” he added.
He further said that this new acquisition could bring new revenue for the mobile operator.