Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) officially launched the Multifunctional Satellite Project at the Creative & Innovative Financing Forum held in Bali, and said that the winners of the satellite tender will be announced at the end of the year.
Indonesia’s Multifunctional Satellite Project – one of the world’s largest national single-satellite projects to date – will see the launch of a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) with a capacity of at least 150 GBPS, to be operational by 2022. The satellite will provide connectivity to at least 150,000 points (antennas) throughout Indonesia’s 6,000 or more inhabited islands. The project budget is estimated to be 8-9 trillion Indonesian Rupiahs (at least US$420 million).
Such a large project requires collaboration between the Indonesian government, local satellite operators, and foreign players, who will each provide component pieces of the entire system including manufacture, operations, and securing an orbital slot.
Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and IT, Rudiantara, said the private-public sector partnership will be based on the government’s KPBU initiative, which focuses on the development of national insfrastructure.
He said, “Telkom, Indosat, PSN and other operators have never used such a technology, demonstrating that the government is able to show greater progress than the private sector. The project will be carried out using the KPBU scheme of public-private sector cooperation.”
The Multifunctional Satellite Project will provide Internet to schools, community clinics, and government offices throughout Indonesia.
“Currently, Indonesia has 226,000 schools, but more than 9,000 do not have Internet connectivity. Of the 4,000 public clinics, most remain unconnected. The same goes for the 50,000 or so village-level government offices”, he added.
Rudiantara stated that satellite connectivity is Indonesia’s only option. He said, “We don’t have a choice. Using terrestrial solutions, we’ll be pulling cables for a long time. This is why we’ve chosen to launch a satellite.”
The tender process for the satellite has already begun, with telcos, satellite operators, and manufacturers putting in their bids in July-August this year. An earlier project presentation held end-December 2017 saw players such as Arianespace, Thales, the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), SES, China Satcom, amongst other local and foreign companies, in attendance.