Indonesian Mobile Data and SMS Usage Increased as Voice Services Declined During 2013 Lebaran Period

The increase in traffic flow during the Eid season doesn’t just apply to the road traffic. With the number of Indonesian cellular subscribers exceeding the population of the country, the increase is also experienced by telecommunication traffic in the form of SMS and data connectivity for a number of telcos in Indonesia. So how have the carriers performed?

As reported by IndoTelko, the three largest Indonesian mobile telcos, Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat have reported significant increase in telecommunication traffic compared to previous years. SMS and data traffic have contributed greatly to the increased use of telecommunication services in Indonesia over the holiday period. What about voice services? In the reports, voice services recorded significant drop during the holidays.

XL Axiata for example. The carrier that is currently in talks to acquire Axis Telecom has recorded a massive jump in traffic this Lebaran season. The company admitted that its data service has become the primary way for its subscribers to pass on their Hari Raya greetings. XL reports that there had been an increase of up to 32.4% or 245 terabytes during Hari Raya, a figure that is far greater than usage during regular days and represents a 4x increase over Lebaran period in 2012.

The increasing consumption of mobile data this holiday season has made itself the prima donna of mobile communication traffic reports for this holiday season. The use of various social media applications on mobile platforms across the board have been singled out as the primary contributor in data consumption across the major operators.

“Many people sent Lebaran greetings using Path, KakaoTalk, Facebook, Twitter, Line, BBM, and other messaging apps”, said director service management XL Axiata Ongki Kurniawan to IndoTelko.

According to Kurniawan, the increase in data consumption not only has the ability to drive down the use of voice services but also text messaging which had been the spearhead of many telcos over the years. XL Axiata itself recorded a drop text messaging usage between 24-28% compared to a regular day.

How about Indosat? As one of the three largest carriers in Indonesia, the company’s mobile traffic report is similar in nature. Indosat is reported to have experienced an significant increase of data consumption which negatively affects voice services but apparently not text messaging.

IndoTelko reports that Indosat recorded increases in use of text messaging as well as data services. Based on Indosat’s report to the Ministry of Communication and Informatics about its Lebaran performance, SMS traffic rose by 24.92% reaching 1.017 million message during Hari Raya period and a 42.29% increase in data services compared to the regular days.

As a result voice services becomes the only sector that experiences a tragic fall from grace compared to previous years. Indosat’s voice service fell by 15.96% compared to regular days from 374 million conversation minutes to 314.45 million minutes of conversation.

This fact has led to the conclusion that data services have become the preferred choice for the general subscribers of mile services in recent times.

Telkomsel’s own Lebaran traffic report to the Ministry contributes towards the same conclusion of the industry as from the other two major telcos. Data services also ruled the airwaves for Telkomsel’s customers.

During the Lebaran holiday period of this year Telkomsel customers use 13.55% more data than compared to regular days. The use of text messages also rose by 5.42% with a 99% successful delivery rate. Telkomsel’s voice services followed the same trend as on other carriers by dropping 4.25%.

The Ministry, in response to the telco reports, declared that the telecommunication services delivered by the mobile telcos are doing very well in serving the needs of their customers especially for the holiday period. This view was published in a press release which declared that the completion of a comprehensive evaluation towards the mobile telco services resulted in a satisfactory outcome not just for the carriers but also the consumers.

In Kemenkominfo’s official release, there are several points declared satisfactory based on a number of indicators, among which were; Not a single operator among all the existing ones experienced a total loss of connection and Successful Call Ratio is still above average as instructed within the standard communications services quality regulation. The same case applies to dropped calls and blocked calls which did not reach the threshold for cumulative violations, as well as other evaluate points which have been considered as satisfactory in accommodating the needs of subscribers in this year’s Lebaran period.

[header image from Shutterstock]

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