Indonesian technology has started going through some retrogression as the country’s Telecommunication Regulatory Body takes a step back to reduce the rate at which mobile subscribers switch SIM cards and dump them away. Indonesia plans to tackle this by increasing the price of SIM cards by a whopping 5000%. Ridiculous, isn’t it?
Well, the Telecommunication Regulatory Body in Indonesia feels that they need to increase the prices so as to make users stick to one SIM card. They say they feel bad then friends have to deal with keeping up with numbers change. But really, just like any market, except South Africa and Nigeria, prices of SIM cards and mobile services went down as a result of competition among Mobile Service providers.
In Indonesia this was in the early 2000s, in Kenya this occurred in the later part of the same decade. It has since gone a bit stable. South Africa and Nigeria seem to behave in a cartel-ish way with Telcos and ISPs maintaining high prices across the board even with huge internet and services penetration.
Indonesia has such a high SIM switch rate that over 20% of subscribers are changing SIM cards, hence the retention rate for Telcos is quite low and is now becoming a disadvantage. The current situation is such that SMS spammers and scammers have an advantage in that they can switch SIM cards as they wish and go on a conning spree.
Currently priced at $0.2 or IDR 2,000 the SIM card prices will go as high as $10 or IDR 100,000. Kenya moved to contain the situation by insisting all SIM cards in use are registered. The effect of low priced SIM cards is also felt among the telcos who struggle with the active subscribers figures due to the frequent switch of SIM cards.
Via: Tech in Asia