Posts filed under ‘Telkom’
Shareholders of PT Telekomunikasi Seluler (Telkomsel), the nation’s largest cellular operator, introduced Thursday Sarwoto Atmosutarno as the company’s new president director replacing Kiskenda Suriahardja.
Sarwoto moves on from his post as executive general manager of the infrastructure division for Telkomsel’s parent state-run PT Telkom, the nation’s largest telecom firm. Telkomsel is 65 percent owned by publicly listed Telkom, while the remaining 35 percent is owned by Singapore Telecom Mobile Pte Ltd.
“My priority will be to improve the quality of our voice and broadband products by expanding network and bandwidth. This is to keep up with the current stiff competition,” Sarwoto told The Jakarta Post Thursday after the inauguration.
“I will also take advantage of the market community of both Telkom and Telkomsel customers, and leverage synergy between the companies to boost efficiency.”
The replacement of Telkomsel’s chief was made without going through the regular shareholder’s meeting, amid the company’s losing price war against rivals that sent its profits plunging by 7 percent during the first nine months of last year to Rp 9.7 trillion (US$858 million) from Rp 9.08 trillion in the same period of 2007 despite a 36 percent jump in subscribers to 60.5 million, or a 46 percent market share.
Telkomsel is the operator of Kartu Halo, Simpati and Kartu As. This year, Kartu Halo’s call rate fell 30 percent, Simpati’s by 47 percent and Kartu AS’s by 25 percent.
“We are going to see the price war more wisely. That’s why we’re going to focus on improving our service (rather) than getting drowned with our rivals in cutting the call rates,” said Sarwoto, who is a Telkom career official dealing mostly with satellite technology.
Indonesia is home to 11 GSM and CDMA-based cellular phone operators, backed by international giants including Qatar Telecom, Telekom Malaysia, Saudi Telecom, and Hutchison Telecommunications International.
Telkomsel’s former president director Kiskenda, who was on the post since 2005, said in November last year that the company had been more supportive of the public by providing cheaper call rates than to the shareholders by slapping on higher rates to earn more profits. “This is the consequence (of the cheap rate), which eventually (has) trimmed our profit,” said Kiskenda in his defense over Telkomsel’s slumped first nine months profits.
Three telecoms operators have expressed interest in becoming the strategic partner of Ecuadorian state-owned mobile operator Telecsa (Alegro PCS), according to BNamericas quoting local newspaper El Telegrafo. The three potential investors are Venezuelan state-owned cellco Movilnet, Uruguay’s government-run telco Antel and Indonesian operator Telkom. According to the reports, selection of the partner will be concluded in 60-90 days, and is expected to inject capital to boost the mobile operator’s business in Ecuador, where it is positioned third in the subscriber market behind Mexican-backed Conecel (Porta) and Spanish-owned Movistar. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa threatened earlier this month that if Alegro did not turn a profit within twelve months, it would be sold. According to previous press reports, the firm has reported USD200 million in losses since its creation.
In order to lure more subscribers to its data and productivity services, Zain has launched the first of a range of high end mobile phones.
“About 5% of our post paid customers are already Blackberry customers. We want to increase that number and also provide the market with innovative new products that will help people work better,” said Michael Okwiri, Zain Corporate Affairs Director.
This move marks a new shift in the telecommunications firms strategy to lure new subscribers. Since, last six months, Zain is targeting younger and less affluent user, which has augmented its subscriber base and gives tough competition to the new entrants such as Telkom’s Orange Mobile and Econet’s Yu.