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Indonesia’s XL Offers Data Service for Users of Low-End Phones

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- XL Axiata Tbk PT will offer users of low-end mobile phones an inexpensive data plan for applications such as Facebook and Twitter using software from Blaast Oy, a Finnish startup.

Customers in Indonesia can pay 1,100 rupiahs ($0.12) a day for unlimited access to applications on the service, Axiata and Helsinki-based Blaast said today in an e-mailed statement. Local developers are creating content for the Blaast platform, the companies said.

Blaast keeps most of the application code and data on the network, reducing the load on the simple handsets used by most mobile consumers in emerging markets. It competes with native-and browser-based application formats from vendors including Opera Software ASA and handset makers such as Nokia Oyj. Investors include Skype venture capital spinoff Ambient Sound Investments and Steve Blank, an entrepreneurship lecturer at Stanford University.

“XL data services have reached more than 24 million users, or more than 50 percent of total subscribers,” XL President Director Hasnul Suhaimi said in the statement. Blaast will allow XL to “differentiate on the competitive market.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Diana ben-Aaron in Helsinki at dbenaaron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong in Berlin at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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