Fixed Broadband Services Are Increasingly In Interest, Operators Are Asked Not Only To Focus On Price Instruments

INCREASING demand for the internet, especially driven by mobile phone users, makes competition between cellular operators culminate in price games. According to data from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, cellular tariffs in Indonesia are the cheapest in Southeast Asia.

The cheap internet rates make the internet network speed slow. The Ministry of Communication and Informatics said that internet speed in Indonesia is ranked 110th in the world with a speed of around 21 Mbps, below Cambodia and Myanmar.

Data usage in Indonesia is not only supported by cellular networks, there are also users of fiber optic services (fixed broadband/FBB)). However, only 14.5% of the 210 million internet users in 2022 use fixed broadband services. This makes the FBB provider market opportunity wide open.

There are currently a number of major players. Such as IndiHome, First Media, Biznet, MyRepublic, MNC Play, CBN, Link Net, and Oxygen.

Cellular operators also have similar services, such as XL Home (XL Axiata) and HiFi (Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison). PLN has also stated that it has entered this business under the Iconnet flag. Later, in order to strengthen the foundation of this business, XL Axiata acquired First Media from Lippo Group.

"Tight competition among fixed broadband players makes price the main instrument to win the market. With hundreds of providers in this business, the potential for tariff wars can occur," said Cellular CEO Uday Rayana in a discussion in Jakarta, Tuesday (25/10). .

In fact, according to Uday, the construction of infrastructure to provide internet access is not cheap. A number of local governments even levy tariffs on internet service providers who will build network infrastructure.

On the other hand, the licensing process is considered quite complicated. In fact, internet access has now become the main need of society. So that network providers should be given the freedom.

Even though the competition is now getting tougher, Uday hopes that fixed broadband service providers will not only rely on cheap rates as the main instrument in attracting customers. The reason is that low tariffs will make this strategic industry unhealthy.

Uday added, learning from tariff competition in the cellular industry that makes operators bleed, the key to being able to survive, operators need to implement three strategies consistently.

First, the application of tariffs must be affordable. That doesn't mean it has to be cheap but affordable by the community. If it is too cheap but unreasonable, then at first glance it is good for consumers. However, it is only short term, because in the long term the operator is in danger of going bankrupt.

Second, it must be sustainable. This means that the industry must be sustainable. Operators who operate must be able to survive. Because if it collapses, the community will also be harmed or the quality of service will decline.

Third, it must be evenly distributed. This means that operators must build in all regions so that the availability of services is evenly distributed throughout Indonesia.

Currently, not all operators carry out equitable development, according to their licenses. Even though equitable internet access can encourage economic growth in all regions of Indonesia.

Chairman of the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII), Muhammad Arif said that most Indonesian households have or will soon have access to fast and reliable fixed broadband service providers. This of course makes internet network provider competition not only in Java.

"The competition has expanded beyond Java, with more and more people's activities shifting from offline to online," said Arif.

"Nevertheless, the price war for Fixed Broadband services is still within reasonable limits and APJII strongly supports the government to continue to monitor and maintain a healthy FBB business competition climate," he continued.

Meanwhile, General Chairperson of the Indonesian Telecommunications Society (Mastel) Sarwoto Atmosutarno said that Fixed Broadband networks are open and interconnected, which makes customers tend to survey first, whether there is a network or not, and its quality before deciding to subscribe. If you have subscribed, it will be very difficult to switch to other products.

“To maintain its customers, Fixed Broadband internet service providers must be creative. For example, maintaining quality and offering bundling packages with various streaming services to keep customers and attract new customers,” he said.

Vice President Marketing Management Telkom E Kurniawan said, currently IndiHome has spread optical fiber along 170,885 kilometers or the equivalent of 4 times around the earth.

"IndiHome continues to strive to develop service improvements. We present various innovations that prioritize customer satisfaction. In addition to the UL: DL and HSSP programs, we also develop service digitization to customer care. This is IndiHome's solution for customers whose internet consumption needs continue to increase," he said.

He revealed, IndiHome has a unique way to attract customers by carrying the concept of Window of Entertainment. For example, providing interesting content that works with 14 OTT partners such as Netflix, MOLA, Vidio, WeTV, and has a variety of packages according to customer needs, ranging from 30 Mbps to 300 Mbps packages.

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