Telkomsel joins the domestic eSIM party

Telkomsel joins the domestic eSIM party

Indonesian telco Telkomsel has announced that it has launched an eSIM service for local customers, making it the last of the country’s major operators to do so, as the industry awaits upcoming eSIM regulations from telecoms regulator Kominfo.

Telkomsel initially launched its eSIM service for inbound travellers in December 2023. Last week, it officially expanded the service to the domestic market. Smartfren was the first telco in the market to launch eSIMs in 2019. Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison and XL Axiata launched eSIM services late last year.

According to a report last month in the Jakarta Post, Telkomsel had been holding back on a domestic eSIM launch as it was “still assessing the industry’s readiness for adopting the new technology.” The main reservation among telcos was that despite the advantages of eSIM in terms of cost savings, it could also make it easier for customers to churn to the competition.

However, the increasing popularity of eSIMs, as well as the growing availability of eSIM-compatible smartphones, seems to have convinced Telkomsel to take the plunge. In a statement, Telkomsel’s president director Nugroho said the eSIM service is “part of Telkomsel's efforts to provide innovative solutions that not only suit dynamic customer needs but also respond to the availability of handsets that have adopted features and eSIM technology that prioritizes convenience and practicality.”

Telkomsel is pitching its eSIM service as “an all-digital experience that is seamless , easy and practical” compared to physical SIM cards.

Customers who want to switch to eSIM can do the entire transition online via the Telkomsel website. According to Telkomsel, customers can choose their number according to availability and whatever eSIM package suits their needs. Once they make the pusrchase, they’ll be sent an email for eSIM activation with a QR code that links them to the SIM registration page and provided the required documents for ID verification.

Customers won’t be able to port their existing number to the eSIM, and can only buy a maximum of three eSIMs, as per government regulations.

That may change, as the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) is still working out how to best regulate eSIMs. According to a February report from Bisnis Tekno, Kominfo is mainly focused on the security aspect of eSIMs, particularly regarding personal data of users and how much control telcos have over eSIMs in cases where numbers are used for criminal purposes.

Indra Maulana, Secretary of the Directorate General of Postal and Informatics, Directorate General of PP, told the publication that the regulator is in discussions with telcos on the issue and hopes to finalise eSIM regulations by the middle of this year.


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