Yesterday I visited Roxy Mas in the Cideng neighborhood just west of central Jakarta. According to most people Roxy Mas and neigboring Roxy Square is the main handphone center in Jakarta. The building itself does not look very ’prestigious’ or gengsi I am already adopting local terminology here ;).
Roxy Mas has 5 stories. The upper one is mostly a food court. Downstairs there are also some other businesses (clothing, books). The rest is almost completely filled with handphone shops of the following kinds (roughly in descending order of presence):
– Shops selling handphones, both new or bekas (second).
– Shops specialized in selling SIM cards of various telcom operators, both GSM and CDMA (and nomor cantik (beautiful numbers), which are more expensive) as well as pulsa (credit).
– Shops selling all kinds of accessoires (colored casings, phone holders, danglers).
– Repair shops (also doing other services like unlocking, etc.).
– Official (repair) centres of the major brands (Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola).
– Content providers: mainly ringtones. These are basically booths with a computer inside and a guy or girl next to it. He has a mp3 catalogue. For 5000 RP (€ 0,40) per song, he/she will transfer an mp3 of choice to your phone via a data cable, via memory reader, or if even that doesn’t work via bluetooth.
Most of the workers in Roxy Mas are young: between 16 – 25. Some shop owners are older. The majority is female. Also quite a lot of shop owners from Chinese descent. Visitors – overwhelmingly young too – were mostly wandering around together with a friend. It wasn’t particularly busy, maybe I have to get back on a weekend day when most people are free and go shopping for fun. One of the shops I visited looked just like a supermarket.