Mobile-content industry looks promising

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With Indonesia's mobile-phone market being one of the biggest in the world, coupled with the increasing availability of 3G services, the country's content industry appears to have a promising future.

Agustinus Haryawirasma, the chairman of the Indonesian Mobile and Online Content Providers Association (IMOCA), said the rapid rise in the number of mobile content users had encouraged the establishment of some 200 content providers as of the first quarter, a 7 percent rise from the same quarter of 2006.

"Although it's a small number, we consider it shows great potential for the evolution of Indonesia's content industry," said Agustinus Monday, after a media forum held by PT Ericsson Indonesia, which presented 16 content providers from Sweden and Indonesia.

Kurt Flodin, a representative of Ironroad, a Swedish content provider, said Indonesia was "a very interesting market" for the content industry.

Because 3G is increasing rapidly here, his company was interested in offering 3G interactive applications that could be run by automated video phone calls alone "without needing other applications, such as the internet or Java," said Flodin.

Ironroad is one of seven Swedish content providers participating in Ericsson's "Evolve to the Next Level" campaign, which is aimed at boosting Indonesia's content industry. The other participating Swedish providers are Dub Tools, GlobalFun, GameFederation, Kamera, Portwise and Vocab.

Meanwhile, the nine local players are Boleh net, Bubu Chikka, Code Jawa, Detik.com, Iguana, Jatis eCom, Kompas Cyber Media, m-Stars and Visitel.

According to Hugo Diba of Iguana, the content market is still dominated by local players, with music being the most downloaded content, accounting for 75 percent of the total content purchased by mobile users.

Foreign players, meanwhile, dominate 3G non-music content, ranging from games, sports and other entertainment media, to business, education and dating applications.

"One of the problems that we have to face is the low level of education in the Indonesian market," said Hugo, referring to the fact that many Indonesian mobile users do not know how to use the technology provided by their cell phones.

The problem could be solved, he added, through cooperation among content providers, cellular operators and cell-phone vendors, all of which would benefit from the profitable content industry.

Another key barrier hampering the development of the industry was broadband availability and access to the internet, especially for customers living in remote areas, said Vishnu Singh, Ericsson Southeast Asia regional manager for consumers and enterprise labs. (11)
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