Indonesia and SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, have successfully launched the country’s largest telecommunication satellite from the United States.
This significant $540 million project aims to provide internet connectivity to remote areas of the Indonesian archipelago.
While approximately two-thirds of Indonesia’s population of 280 million already use the internet, access remains limited in the underdeveloped eastern islands.
The satellite launch marks a significant step towards bridging the digital divide in Indonesia and connecting previously isolated regions to the online world.
“Satellite technology will accelerate internet access to villages in areas that cannot be reached by fiber optics in the next 10 years,” Mahfud MD, senior Indonesian minister, said in a statement ahead of the launch.
The Republic of Indonesia’s SATRIA-1 satellite, weighing 4.5 tonnes, was constructed by Thales Alenia Space and successfully launched into orbit from Florida using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
Following the launch, the Falcon 9 rocket made a precise landing on an offshore site. SATRIA-1 will be positioned in the orbital slot above Indonesia’s eastern Papua region.
With a capacity of 150 gigabytes per second, the satellite aims to provide internet connectivity to 50,000 public service points across the country.
This project is a collaboration between the Indonesian government and PT Satelit Nusantara Tiga, an Indonesian satellite service provider, as a public-private partnership.