Local Email Service Merahputih.id Eyes a Million Users

Screenshot of the Merahputih.id landing page.

By : Sarah Yuniarni | on 6:01 PM August 19, 2017
Category : Business, Tech

Jakarta. Indonesia's first email service, developed by Jakarta-based information technology company IP Network Solusindo, eyes a million users by next year to reduce the high cost of international bandwidth.

The service, known as Merahputih.id, offers 50 gigabytes of free inbox space and allows email attachments of around 100 megabytes. In comparison, Google's Gmail only offers 15 gigabytes of free inbox space, although Yahoo Mail offers one terabyte.

The local service is also supported by Indonesia's largest network operator, Telkomsel, and it is currently discussing a possible partnership with state-owned banks to enable their customers to sign up with Merahputih.id. The company will soon integrate its webmail with other services, including data storage, social media forums, group chats, interactive television, collaboration messengers and online marketplaces.

"We exist not to challenge technology giants such as Gmail and Yahoo, but we are here to inform Indonesians that there is a local email service that is also outstanding," Aning Wulandari, chief marketing and sales officer at Merahputih.id, said on Friday (18/08).

According to the Indonesian Service Providers Association (APJII), at least 81.8 million of Indonesia's 132.7 million internet users used Gmail last year, while around 43.6 million made use of Yahoo Mail. The remainder used an assortment of other services.

Even though Indonesia is the country with the fastest-growing number of internet users in the world, most people still access websites with the dot com suffix, hosted mainly abroad. This means Indonesians use international bandwidth to access their mail, which costs the country trillions of rupiah annually.

"The presence of Merahputih.id will hopefully reduce the cost of international bandwidth as we are using a local domain as our website address," Aning said. She added that the company has its servers and data center located in Indonesia to ensure a high level of security.

The government has made some efforts to encourage Indonesians to create local domains. Under a program called "A Million .id Domains," the government is giving away free local domain names to schools, Islamic boarding schools and small and medium enterprises.

Aning said Merahputih.id has gained an average of 500 new users per day since its launch on May 20, with more than a quarter from West Java. About another quarter are from Jakarta, while 15 percent are from Central Java and Yogyakarta. The remainder are from other provinces.

"In mid-August, we have seen the number of downloads triple on average and the trend is increasing," Aning said.

She said the company is confident that Merahputih.id will reach a million users by the end of March next year.

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