Satellite connectivity a key focus for Indonesia in 2019

Kominfo Minister Rudiantara. Image courtesy of Kominfo.

On January 4, Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) announced its four key focus areas for the year 2019, with satellite connectivity being one of them.

According to Minister Rudiantara, who heads Kominfo, the Ministry will focus on acquiring  its own satellite – the 150 Gbps Multifuctional Satellite announced a year ago – in order to ensure connectivity throughout the archipelago. The tender process is currently ongoing.

Said Rudiantara, “We are now in the middle of the [tender] process, and the winning bid will be made known by the first quarter of this year”.

He added that the satellite will only be operational in 2022, and that Indonesia will lease capacity from other satellites in the meantime.

He said, “We are doing this to accelerate the pace of development in Indonesia. When our satellite is ready in 2022, we will relocate our antennas from the leased satellite to our own.”

The Multifunctional satellite, he said, will complement another key focus area for connectivity, i.e., Indonesia’s massive Palapa Ring project. The project aims to lay 36,000 km of fibre optic cable connecting the islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesian Papua, Sulawesi, and Maluku. Scheduled to have been completed by 2018, the project is experiencing delays, with the Eastern segment is yet to be integrated. According to Rudiantara, Kominfo will aim to complete the Palapa Ring project by the first half of this year.

The third and fourth focus areas for the Ministry are to ensure mobile connectivity for the entire country, as well as to foster the Digital Startup ecosystem in order to produce local Decacorn startups, i.e., companies valued at over $10 bilion.

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