Indonesian Smartphone Users' Data Consumption Expected to Soar by 2021


JUNE 17, 2016

[Updated at 09.19 p.m on Friday (17/6) to correct the lead]

Jakarta. At nearly 100 million, Indonesia was the country in Southeast Asia and Oceania with the biggest number of smartphone users at the end of 2015, which largely accounts for the fact that it is also the country in the region with the greatest increase in Internet data traffic through mobile broadband and Wi-Fi, a senior communications industry representative said.

"The number [of smartphone users] will keep growing to 250 million by the end of 2021," Ericsson Indonesia president director Thomas Jul said in Jakarta on Thursday (17/06).

The analysis is based on a random survey by Ericsson Lab, which polled 100,000 people in 40 countries, representing around 1.1 billion people. However, the company did not specify the number of Indonesian respondents in the survey.

The survey also showed that two out of every 10 smartphone users in Indonesia were frequent users of instant messaging and online video streaming apps, such as YouTube, WhatsApp and Blackberry Messenger.

Ericsson Indonesia previously projected that the amount of data consumed by smartphone users in Southeast Asia and Oceania will grow to an average of nine gigabytes per user per month by 2021, from 1.2 gigabytes in 2015, mainly driven by the three top apps.

Online video streaming, mainly accessed by teenagers, contributes the biggest portion of mobile data usage, which indicates changing user behavior.

"Teenagers generally prefer to watch videos online instead of television," Jul said.

Ericsson Indonesia marketing vice president Hardyana Syintawati said video content in social media and online video streaming would be a trend in the coming years.

"Mobile operators should prepare to increase data capacity and connection speeds, as well as utilize a broader spectrum, as supported by the government regulation," Hardyana told the Jakarta Globe.

Jul said the number of subscriptions for mobile broadband and Wi-Fi access has grown by around 80 percent between March 2015 and March 2016, while the number of smartphone subscribers could reach 50 percent of the total number of cellular phone subscribers by the end of this year.

He added that an estimated 60 percent of Indonesia's 250 million people are mobile broadband Internet subscribers.

* Previous version of the story incorrectly stated Indonesia  is also the country in Southeast Asia and Oceania with the greatest average monthly mobile data usage. We apologize for the error