Local OTT push by Indonesia, part of digital economy vision

  • ‘National OTT’ drive to boost creative industry and ease operator burden
  • Indonesia still lagging Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, but aims to be No 1
Local OTT push by Indonesia, part of digital economy vision

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THE Indonesian Government and telecommunications operators will promote local over-the-top (OTT) services as part of the country’s vision to become the largest ‘digital economy’ in South-East Asia.
The Association of Telecommunication Operators (ATSI) is inviting local startups to register their OTT services, after which three such services will be identified and earmarked for support by the association, said its chairman Alexander Rusli.
“By mid-December, ATSI hopes to find at least three OTT local content providers, especially those with social media and chatting services,” he told a media conference at the launch of the 4G LTE for a Better Indonesia conference in Jakarta on Dec 11.
Alexander, who is also the chief executive officer of operator Indosat Ooredoo, said after these three OTT players have been identified, they will receive coaching by ATSI in January next year. ATSI members will also promote these OTT services via their own channels, including their SMS blasts.
Local OTT push by Indonesia, part of digital economy visionThere are three requirements for these OTT candidates: 1) They must be owned by Indonesians; 2) They must have at least 100,000 to 500,000 users; and 3) Their services must be available for the Android platform, he added.  
ATSI is targeting to boost the user base of these three providers to 20-30 million in six months to a year, according to Alexander (pic).
OTT startups can register their interest by emailing their profiles to [email protected].
The local OTT push is also supported by the Government, with the Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rudiantara having expressed his commitment too, Alexander said.
“He [Rudiantara] will be urging other ministers to use local OTT services,” he added.
Building SEA’s largest digital economy
Alexander said it was not about competing against established foreign OTT services, although he argued that local content would ease the data burden on operators.
More importantly, this would encourage the growth of the creative industry in Indonesia and also help drive the economy.
This ‘national OTT’ drive also hopes to encourage local e-commerce, which was estimated to have reached US$12 billion in 2014, with the Government aiming for a US$130-billion market by in 2020.
In terms of telecommunications infrastructure and services, Indonesia still lags behind its South-East Asian neighbours like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, according to Rudiantara, the communications minister.
By boosting 4G (Fourth Generation) access and IT development, Indonesia is determined to become the second-largest digital economy in the region by 2019, and the No 1 by 2020, he said.
Meanwhile President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, who officially launched the 4G LTE for a Better Indonesia event, said the availability of 4G networks across all of Indonesia would lead to an “economic revolution” for the country.
When the four operators have completed building their 1800MHz networks, this would open up “access and economic opportunities for all the people of Indonesia,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rudiantara conceded that the establishment of nationwide 4G access and other supporting facilities was just the beginning.
“There is still a lot work to be done in 2016 to build a digital ecosystem,” he said.
“Besides focusing on 4G implementation, the ministry will also do its part … to prepare the fundamental infrastructure to boost applications and e-commerce use.
“The Government will also allocate an additional 2100MHz of spectrum to operators, to be made available through a selection process,” he added.

Local OTT push by Indonesia, part of digital economy vision

Rudiantara (pic above) said the Government and people of Indonesia should not see telecommunications as merely a “tool, but as economic enabler in the long-term.”
This is especially so in the 4G era, where data access will play a key role for operators, he added.
Related Stories:
Indonesia aims to beat Malaysia in Internet access by 2019
Project Loon to ‘land’ in Indonesia amidst challenges
Indonesia’s vision: 1,000 startups by 2020
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