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Arsip Kategori: Temasek

My Old Article (3): GPRS — A new technology to put you on the fast track


gprs

JAKARTA (JP): What will happen in 2004? Some politicians aren’t prepared to wait that long to see a new president rule the country. Some of us cannot wait that long to see many changes in Indonesia.

If that year ever comes, global players in the telecommunication and information technology (IT) industry will be celebrating one billion subscribers of wireless phone services. According to Hong Kong-based consultants Strategis Group, this year alone wireless phone subscribers have reached 530 million worldwide.

Anticipating the trend, Telkomsel, one of the largest mobile phone operators in Indonesia today, is planning to enhance its telecommunications technology with general packet radio services (GPRS). Through this initiative, Telkomsel will be able to offer much improved services.

Service, or as IT people would call it QoS (Quality of Service), will become a major concern for subscribers. Who would want to have “”network search”” blinking on the phone screen all the time? In its early days, GSM (Global System for Mobiles) could also be called Geser Sedikit Mati or, move a little and the phone is dead.

On the Internet and other networks, QoS is the idea that transmission rates, error rates and other characteristics can be measured, improved and, to some extent, guaranteed in advance.

With GPRS, Telkomsel is running in the fast lane. Based on GSM communication, GPRS has higher data transmission rates which allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia web sites in any part of the world. GPRS promises data rates from 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) up to 114 Kbps, and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users.

Today’s plain flavored Internet dial-up connection in Jakarta can reach as high as 8 Mbps (Indosat Net connection). Soon enough, users of mobile devices will enjoy the comfort of Internet in their palms at faster speeds. As the speed is gradually improving, mobile Internet keeps its magnetic charm for most of its users.

However, with the possibility of the value-added tax being raised to 12.5% in July and the prices of consumer goods climbing off the wall, apparently the mobile phone industry in Indonesia will remain stable.

More on technology

Another trivia question: what will happen if an effective, acceptable government is finally functioning in Indonesia? Everything goes well according to market demand. Politicians and economists are wearing smiles. Then we can talk about technology advancement further.

Today’s cellular systems are mainly circuit-switched, with connections always dependent on circuit availability. Like that used by Telkom’s POTS (plain old telephone system), most cell phones use a circuit-switched network, where no one else can use the physical lines involved during a call.

In contrast, the next generation of GPRS is already coming. It is called Universal Mobile Telephone System (UMTS). It offers a consistent range of services to mobile computer and phone users no matter where they are located in the world. As with any evolving technology, worldwide deployment of UMTS may take some time.

UMTS is one of the approved standards by the International Telecommunications UnionTelecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T). Located in Geneva, ITU-T is the main international body that develops cooperative standards for telecommunications equipment and systems.

UMTS meets with the requirement of providing transmission rates of 144 Kbps when mobile, 384 Kbps when pedestrian speeds outdoor, and 2 Mbps stationary indoors.

While it becomes a little faster at each new phase, wireless technology will mature in time. Most European countries and Japan already have the facilities to utilize UMTS, which will be in service after 2002.

Something to ponder

Once UMTS is fully implemented, it will keep people connected at all times and in all places. Phone and PDA (personal digital assistant) users can be constantly connected to the Internet as they travel and have the same set of capabilities no matter where they are.

Privacy and security on the Net is something to consider. If cell phones or PDAs stay online 24 hours a day, this could tempt hackers. With fingerprint, retinal, or voice recognition systems, security is also advancing.

Some of us would like to have time for ourselves; often disconnecting the phone while on vacation. If not, the cell phone in the pocket could be spotted thousands of miles away from where we are. This is made possible by global positioning satellites.

Owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, but available for general use around the world, the global positioning system (GPS) is a constellation of 24 well-spaced satellites that orbit the Earth.

It is possible for people with ground receivers to pinpoint their geographic location. These days, GPS receivers, which can be attached to any electronic device, are becoming consumer products.

Some experts say that technology, bit by bit, chips away at our privacy. Is it possible to design a technology that could conceal personal information? Once we live in borderless space, expect the information explosion at any time. Make use of it, or make the best defense from it.

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Sun, June 17 2001, 7:29 AM

 

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The Devil is in The Details: Arbitrage, Temasek?


Judulnya memang seram, dan saya pun bukan SH LLM yang mengerti logika hukum. Detail dari proses hukum yang akan diambil kita serahkan saja ke pengacara-pengacara Temasek yang bayaran per jam-nya sudah bisa beli beras untuk satu kelurahan makan sebulan! Tee…. hee!

Hanya ada beberapa konsep dasar yang bisa diungkap di sini, terutama mengingat sifat hukum kompetisi; yaitu seputar prinsip, yurisdiksi, dan kaitannya (?) dengan “pengadilan arbitrase”.

1. Hukum persaingan usaha (Indonesia) atau hukum kompetisi (Eropa) atau ‘antitrust law’ (Amerika Serikat) dibuat untuk mengangkat atau menjaga kompetisi di satu pasar dengan mengatur khususnya perilaku dan perjanjian anti-kompetitif; di antaranya penetapan harga, pembagian wilayah, kartelisasi, atau perjanjian eksklusif.

2. Hukum persaingan usaha yang modern sekalipun hanya mengenal kompetisi dalam pasar yang dibatasi oleh garis teritorial negara. Hukum domestik yang mengatur kompetisi ini tidak mengatur aktivitas di luar batas negara, kecuali yang memiliki dampak terhadap keadaan domestik. Contoh terakhir di Uni Eropa adalah putusan Direktorat Kompetisi, Komisi Eropa, Uni Eropa terhadap korporasi raksasa Amerika, Microsoft (September 2007). Alasannya adalah “barrier to innovation” terutama terkait dengan (1) penolakan Microsoft untuk menyediakan ke kompetitornya “informasi interoperabilitas”, (2) perilaku Microsoft “tying” Media Player dengan Windows PC operating system, dan (3) mengingat keputusan Komisi Eropa untuk membentuk “monitoring trustee” yang memantau kepatuhan Microsoft terhadap hukum Uni Eropa jika tetap ingin bermain di kolam Eropa. Trustee akhirnya tak terbentuk, tapi tetap Microsoft harus membayar denda US$700 juta.

3. Untuk “mengakali” kompetisi lintas-batas terkadang bisa juga dilakukan dengan pembentukan beberapa perjanjian antar-negara (ASEAN, misalnya) atau antar-kawasan (GATT hingga WTO, misalnya). Perjanjian ini awalnya dibentuk untuk mengakomodir perjanjian perdagangan lintas-batas, tapi kemudian muncul topik “trade-related” seperti kebijakan persaingan usaha antar-anggota. Tahun 1994, misalnya, pasca Putaran Urugay, ada pasal yang membatasi yang ditujukan terhadap sector-specific issues yang lintas-perbatasan negara. Kemudian WTO pasca-Doha (2001) dan pasca-Cancún (2003) telah “meracik” secara formal pra-kesepakatan kebijakan dan hukum persaingan usaha. Hingga pertemuan di Cancún, ada 3 opsi: negosiasikan kesepakatan yang mengikat (binding treaty), buat perjanjian yang “lunak”, atau teruskan menggali lebih lanjut tentang isu ini [trade & competition]. Isu kompetisi menguap begitu saja di Cancún, karena ada banyak topik”trade-related” yang tak kunjung selesai dibahas dalam pertemuan-pertemuan selanjutnya.

4. Peraturan perundangan seputar “abuse of dominant position” khusus untuk pemain telekomunikasi di Singapura sendiri ditangani oleh IDA (Information Development Authority), yang memang pemainnya hanya duopoly Starhub dan Singtel. Karena pasar yang ditangani hanya Singapura dengan populasi dan luas area yang tak terlalu besar, beberapa putusan IDA terhadap merger konglomerasi atau vertikal dari sebuah telco (telephone company) terkadang tidak mencerminkan penerapan hukum persaingan sesungguhnya (lihat di sini).

5. Apa kaitannya putusan KPPU dengan pihak yang merasa dirugikan naik banding ke pengadilan arbitrase internasional? KAGAK ADA. Secara singkat, pengadilan arbitrase international di London (klik www.lcia-arbitration.com) adalah bersifat sebagai penengah, dan biasanya pemerintah memang digugat oleh pemain swasta, atau pemain swasta digugat pemain swasta lain. Yang digugat adalah seputar sengketa kontrak, dan bukan putusan KPPU atau otoritas persaingan lain di satu negara. Karena arbitrage adalah praktek pembelian satu barang berharga di satu pasar untuk kemudian dijual kembali di pasar lain dalam rangka mendapatkan profit dari perbedaan harga (American Heritage Dictionary, 1996). Jadi Kompas hari ini halaman 38 belumlah mengkaji lebih lanjut tentang wacana “arbitrage” yang dilemparkan beberapa orang, termasuk Ichanuddin Noorsy tempo hari di TVRI.

6. Terakhir, melihat beberapa latar belakang di atas ini, silakan dikaji dimensi hukum pasca-putusan KPPU terhadap Telkomsel dan IM3, dalam hal ini terhadap (dan yang akan dilakukan oleh) pemilik saham dominan di perusahaan-perusahaan boneka (baca: SPV, special purpose vehicle) yang dibuat Temasek Holdings Private Limited. Tidak terlalu rumit, unless you really know the devil.

LAMPIRAN:

Singapore Telecom (SingTel) – Listed on the Singapore and Australian Stock Exchanges, SingTel is majority owned by the Singapore government. SingTel is the leading provider of fixed-line, mobile and Internet services in Singapore. With a small, saturated and competitive home market, SingTel has significant offshore interests, which now contribute a majority of its revenue. Its main subsidiary is Optus in Australia. Others include Telkomsel in Indonesia, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Bharti Telecom in India and AIS in Thailand. The company has significant investments in international submarine cable networks, satellite systems and data centres.

StarHub Pte Ltd – StarHub provides voice and data services over fixed, mobile and Internet platforms in Singapore. After strong growth in the last few years, the company has been challenging MobileOne for second position behind SingTel in the local mobile market. StarHub has also been slowly building a nationwide fixed-line network to serve the residential market. In July 2002, Singapore Cable Vision merged with StarHub and was renamed StarHub Cable Vision, providing cable TV and broadband services.

 
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Ditulis oleh pada November 26, 2007 in IM3, KPPU, Telkomsel, Temasek

 

Temasek and The Right Prescription


Risk and profit. They go hand in hand. The higher the risks one entity shall take, the more profitable she shall get. The hype of reality shows in TV are still on demand. Even Kinaryosih and her love Brett Money coupled to join AXN Amazing Race, a globespotters’ challenge TV show. Everyone loves higher risk challenge.

As a big entity, Temasek had calculated all risks before entering Indonesian market, a big fat profitable but lousy market. Lousy? Not so fast…

If the KPPU decision is made this week on Temasek of her monopoly power or abuse of dominant position, it is actually all about consumer welfare and other entities’ welfare (read: total welfare). This “consumer welfare prescription” has been implemented in many countries around the globe. Judge Robert Bork coined this term, and the concept is quoted in many decisions by other countries’ competition authorities.

In Indonesia, unfornately, Consumers’ Protection Law is outlined separately from Competition Law. For this reason, KPPU could only decide on monopoly power, not at the very thoughts of consumer welfare. Both laws must have been regarded under one umbrella for KPPU to make decision. For comparison, please comprehend Judge Bork’s “total welfare” interventionist actions.

Let me put it this way. For consumer welfare: a firm’s market power will depend on the buyers’ sensitivity to price (the firm’s elasticity of demand) therefore buyers or consumers shall be protected from any suspectedly-artificial pricing that a firm like Telkomsel or Indosat could conduct.

For competition’s sake, we shall look at a wider angle. Both firms’ elasticity, and therefore their market power, will depend on the elasticity of market demand, the number of firms, degree of product differentiation and the interaction between firms. When fringe players enter the arena, and the only strategy that both firms have conducted is advertising campaign. Theory has it that reducing price or dominant players to consumers would be the last strategy.

I have observed when one campaign conducted by Telkomsel took place, Indosat would place only itsy-bitsy ads (not campaign). The other way round happened. I have clipped all their Kompas ads for the last semester for proof.

On the other hand, Temasek, again, with her calculation to enter Indonesia, anticipated investments via dividing enterprises to handle both Telkomsel and Indosat: Singtel 35% of Telkomsel, and Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte. Ltd. 41,94% of Indosat. Both Singtel and STT is under Temasek. But then again, KPPU has outsmarted this.

Even a campaign statement of “not healthy to invest in Indonesia” is broken if we see the due process of law is taken place. Please compare this with decision process taken by other countries’ competition authorities. There are consumer welfare and rule of reason to consider.

A public complain was sent to KPPU about pricing strategy that was harmonized by both Telkomsel and Indosat at the time many fringe players entered the arena, then KPPU conducted investigation and calculation. When the decision is made, and Temasek shall appeal to district court, then there is no way Indonesia is a risky country. Please, the system is progressing. Let it flow and work accordingly.

 
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Ditulis oleh pada November 20, 2007 in Indosat, KPPU, risk country, Telkomsel, Temasek