Indonesia. The rapid growth of mobile Internet users and the untapped market of people yet to have online access had spurred Yahoo to â€śseriously invest in Indonesia,â€ť an executive of the Web giant said on Tuesday.
Pontus Sonnerstedt, country manager of Yahoo Indonesia, said that of the 25 million Indonesians with access to the Internet, about 15 million used their mobile devices to go online.
He said mobile Internet users made up 60 percent of the roughly 10 percent of the population with access to the Web.
The 90 percent without access would likely leapfrog to mobile Internet use, bypassing accessing the Web from desktop devices.
Pontus said it was this large segment of the population that Yahoo was aiming to attract with its investment in the country.
He said that the trend in Internet access was â€śmoving away from shared to private access because more people can do it on their mobile devices because the price of handsets is falling by the day.â€ť
â€śSo we are serious in reaching out to these ‘new to the netâ€™ users,â€ť Pontus said.
Based on a joint survey by Yahoo and research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres conducted in eight major cities in January, there was a 35 percent jump in Internet users in so-called Tier 1 cities - Jakarta, the Greater Jakarta area, Surabaya, Medan and Bandung - compared with the same period last year.
But the growth was more significant in Tier 2 cities, namely Semarang, Palembang and Makassar, which saw a 63 percent rise in Internet users in the 12 months to January this year.
â€śThe growth of Internet users is faster in those cities and it is also coming from the smaller cities,â€ť making Indonesia one of the top markets for Yahoo, Pontus said.
He refused to reveal how much Yahoo was investing in expanding its Indonesian operations, saying the company preferred to show its efforts through tapping the market and providing online services to mobile Internet users.