Tue, 11 Apr 2000

Net providers upbeat about market growth

JAKARTA (JP): Local Internet service providers (ISPs) are expecting better business this year as more personal computer owners are expected to sign up as subscribers.

The marketing manager of PT Cyberindo Aditama (CBN), Stephanus Jonatan, said on Monday the company was expecting the number of its subscribers to double this year to 60,000 from 30,000 early this year.

"Most Internet users are currently using the service provided in their offices, but soon many will open their own private Internet accounts so that they will be able to use the service at home," he told The Jakarta Post.

He said CBN's subscriber roll grew at least 100 percent per year since starting commercial operations in Jakarta in early 1996.

Another local ISP, Indosatnet, is also optimistic about business this year, projecting the number of its subscribers would reach 75,000 by the end of the year from 45,000 as of February.

The president of Indosatnet's parent company PT Indosat, Indra Setiawan, said that like other major ISPs Indosatnet also recorded good growth.

"The number of Indosatnet's subscribers has increased at least 100 percent per year since it started operation in 1996," he said.

In order to provide subscribers with faster and better services, Indra said Indosatnet would increase the bandwidth capacity from 45 Mbps to 69 Mbps.

"The expansion of the bandwidth capacity will be done in the middle of this year," he said.

He said Indosatnet would expand its coverage to 20 cities in the country, including Pekanbaru in Riau, Palembang in South Sumatra, Cirebon in West Java, Surakarta in Central Java and Malang in East Java.

Stephanus said most ISPs were focusing their services in Jakarta because they considered the city the most prospective market due to its more developed infrastructure.

The Association of Indonesian Internet Service Providers projected the number of Internet users in Indonesia would increase from approximately 1 million in 1999 to 1.45 million this year and 1.98 million next year.

Stephanus said the growth in Internet subscription would be more rapid if PT Telkom as the sole telephone line provider could provide infrastructure that better suited requirements for data communications use without increasing the call charge. (cst)