Indosat debuts custom app store to drive data revenue

Indosat has become the latest Indonesian operator to launch its own app store.

The i-Aplikazone store is aimed at driving revenue from data users, reflecting the increasing number of smartphone owners in the market.

Indosat president Alexander Rusli has asserted the company’s ambitious aim of having all of its smartphone customers download the app. The store offers around 10,000 applications, of which over 1000 are Indonesian-language.

The operator recently took second place in the Indonesian mobile market after overtaking its rival XL’s 18.5% market share by 1%. Smartphone users constitute roughly a third of its 63 million connections.

Following its 2-year network upgrade, Indosat is anticipating a 50% increase in data traffic this year. Network modernisation has eaten up the lion’s share of its annual CAPEX budget (IDR8 trillion/$625 million), with 23 of the country’s largest cities receiving boosted coverage.

Rival operator XL launched its Gudang Aplikasi store a year ago, and reported 2.3 million registered users at the end of the first quarter. Data revenue increased around 29% year-on-year during this time, making up roughly a third of the operator’s service revenue. Like Indosat, around 33% of its customers are smartphone users.

Telkomsel, the state-owned market leader, launched an app development initiative in August 2013 aimed at local developers. The TemanDev platform provides APIs and hosts contests to encourage development.

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