SK Planet Venture To Boost M-VAS
South Korea's SK Telecom has reportedly agreed to establish a joint venture with Indonesian mobile network operator XL Axiata as part of its ongoing efforts to develop a pan-Asian mobile content and value-ad ded services (VAS) business. This would be the second venture established by SKT in Indonesia and BMI expects these investments to provide a significant boost to the quality and diversity of operators' mobile VAS revenues, which are currently dominated by low-value messaging services.
Yonhap News Agency reports that SK Planet , a subsidiary of SKT that specialises in the development of white-label premium M-VAS for mobile network operators, will invest US$9.2mn in the venture. XL Axiata - which is owned by Malaysia-based Axiata Group - will contribute a similar amount. The scope of the business has yet to be determined, it is reported, but BMI believes it will have a similar business strategy to that of PT MelOn Indonesia , a partnership between SK Planet and Indonesia's largest mobile network operator, Telkomsel , which launched in 2012 to offer online navigation, shopping and auction-based services, among other things.
Over the last three years, Indonesia's mobile network operators have been reporting strong growth in revenues from non-voice services, driven by the increased availability of affordable smartphones - the BlackBerry is widely used by business customers as well as Indonesian youths - as well as the rise of social networking services and the migration of entertainment-based content such as music and video to the digital environment. XL Axiata, for example, reports that non-voice revenues totalled IDR8,448bn (US$865mn) in 2012, up by 15.0% from IDR7,345bn in 2011. Telkomsel, meanwhile, reported an 18% y-o-y increase in its non-voice revenue, to IDR21,000bn.
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