AT&T Wins Operating License for Indonesia

The telecom giant gains a foothold in Southeast Asia

AT&T announced today that it received a license to operate in Indonesia, making the telecom giant the first multinational corporation of its kind to be granted such permission.

Indonesia is home to the world’s fourth-largest population and proves to be a key gateway for AT&T's penetration of the Asian market.

AT&T was required to work with local partners in order to service its corporate clients prior to winning the stand-alone license to operate in Indonesia. The telecommunications sector, among other key industries, was the target of protectionist measures as leaders attempted to hold on to some level of managerial control over foreign direct investment. The AT&T license signifies a historic shift in policy that will likely usher in a new era of foreign multinational presence in the Southeast Asian nation.

Analysts say Indonesia is just one of many Asian markets becoming more amenable to aggressive telecoms' foreign investment, a trend welcomed by companies that have suffered in domestic markets. AT&T, which has focused its business in Asia on corporate services such as network access and virtual private networks, is likely to target the Thai and Vietnamese markets next.

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