Indonesia’s second largest operator XL Axiata is forecasting that 4G customers will account for up to 25 per cent of its total data users in just two years, assuming affordable 4G smartphones are available.
Rashad Javier Sanchez, the company’s acting chief of revenue and customer management, told the Jakarta Post that 4G subscribers are likely to account for less than 10 per cent of data subscribers this year because of the limited availability of affordable 4G smartphones.
He said looking at markets like Malaysia and the Philippines, 25 per cent of their data users have 4G, which just took two years (4G users last December accounted for only about 2 per cent of total mobile connections in the Philippines, according to GSMA Intelligence).
XL, with a 19 per cent market share of the country’s 311 million connections, had just 18,000 4G users at the end of 2014, according to GSMA Intelligence. Market leader Telkomsel had about 36,000 4G connections last year.
XL’s smartphone penetration is 27 per cent, which is similar to the 30 per cent level of Smart and Globe Telecom in the Philippines.
Indonesia’s Industry Ministry has estimated that 4G smartphones will account for just 5 per cent of imported smartphones, the Post said. IDC expects shipments in the country to hit 30 million this year.
Upstart operator Bolt Super4G, which has coverage only in the greater Jakarta area, said recently it was the first operator in the country to have one million LTE subscribers.