Services Beyond Commercial Motivation, Towards Less Developed Communities
At Axiata, we embrace a broad view of responsibility that goes beyond profit-making. We view sustainability as a foundation to broaden business opportunities for creating new markets, operational efficiency, effective access to capital, and long-term value that benefits our people, our shareholders, the communities and economies in which we operate. During the last year, we continued to introduce innovative and attractive data services and applicable mobile-based services to our customers within rural communities, thus bridging the digital divide and improving customer experience. 18,477 of our sites (47.3%) are located in rural areas of OpCo countries.
Extending Our Reach in Indonesia
Most Indonesians live in rural areas, where transportation is limited, and mobile phones are vital in helping micro and small enterprises reduce operational costs in conducting their business and increasing productivity, thus leading to more inclusive economic growth. The island topography of Indonesia means that fixed services are limited, so wireless is relied upon for providing connectivity. XL remains focused on expanding coverage and capacity to extend their reach into more rural areas in Indonesia. XL's network is now availabe to ~227 million people across Indonesia.
Affordable Products and Rural Coverage
There are many less affluent consumers in the communities which we serve who can benefit from our affordable products and services. Our approach is not only about expanding into these markets; it is also about offering affordable products to meet the increasingly diverse needs of our customers.
Affordable Products and Services in Cambodia
Smart serves more than 5 million subscribers in Cambodia, and has seen constant growth of its subscriber base. For the average Cambodian, mobile phones were considered a luxury product, but with Smart's affordable rates and tariffs, more and more Cambodians are now owning mobile phones. Mobile Internet became the second key service through the availability of 3G, especially through Smart's HSPA+ in all 25 provinces of Cambodia. Smart is taking a key role in connecting Cambodians to the internet, especially considering the vast absence of other possibilities to go online except in major cities.
Digital Inclusion Products
We also made strides in the development of digital services such as m-money, m-health, m-advertising, m-insurance and social networking. More than 12 million people across the region are already subscribers to these new initiatives, which have been pioneer initiatives of digital inclusion in their respective countries. These new initiatives have enabled groups of society, generally excluded from the digital development and new products, to be connected and able to engage in activities such as banking, insurance, e-learning, social media and specialist health services via the resources they already have. i.e, access of social media through feature phones via Kolony in Malaysia and Circle in Bangladesh.