SpaceX launches satellite to boost internet connectivity in Indonesia


JAKARTA: Indonesia and Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX has launched the country’s largest telecommunication satellite from the United States, in a $540 million project intended to link up remote corners of the archipelago to the internet.

Roughly two-thirds of Indonesia’s 280 million population already use the internet, but connectivity is limited in far-flung, underdeveloped eastern islands of the Southeast Asian country.

“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 4.5-tonne Satellite of the Republic of Indonesia (SATRIA-1) was built by Thales Alenia Space and deployed into orbit from Florida by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which then returned to an offshore site in a precision landing.

According to the Indonesian government, the satellite will occupy the orbital slot above Indonesia’s eastern Papua region. It has a throughput capacity of 150 gigabytes per second and will provide internet access to 50,000 public service points.

The project is a public-private partnership between the government and Indonesian satellite service provider PT Satelit Nusantara Tiga.

Reuters

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