Starlink Satellite Internet System Soon to Be Launched in Indonesia

Space X - Starlink Satellites

State media, citing a senior minister, reported that SpaceX founder Elon Musk will be in Indonesia on May 19 for the launch of the company’s Starlink internet satellite service in the country.

The American tech billionaire will join Indonesian President Joko Widodo to launch the aerospace company’s broadband services at the World Water Forum (WWF) in Bali, according to Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the country’s Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister, as reported by the Antara news agency.

“The President, together with Elon Musk, will launch Starlink in the hopes of facilitating communication in remote areas. The launch will take place on Sunday,” the minister stated.

Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi confirmed that Starlink has obtained business licenses to operate as a telecommunications provider in the country.

Starlink Satellites

The satellite-powered internet provider aims to broaden internet access in regions that local providers cannot reach due to geographical challenges, he added.

Currently, Starlink is available in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brazil, and Chile.

Most satellite internet services rely on single geostationary satellites orbiting the planet at 35,786 km. Consequently, the round-trip data time between the user and the satellite—known as latency—is high, making it nearly impossible to support streaming, online gaming, video calls, or other high data rate activities.

Starlink Satellites

Starlink, however, consists of a constellation of thousands of satellites orbiting much closer to Earth, at about 550 km, covering the entire globe. Due to their low orbit, Starlink satellites have a significantly lower latency of 25 ms compared to the 600+ ms typical of geostationary satellites, according to the company’s website.

SpaceX is unique among satellite operators because it can launch its satellites as needed with frequent, low-cost launches. Starlink asserts that its satellites are constantly updated with the latest technology.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched 20 more Starlink satellites, including 13 with Direct to Cell capabilities, into Earth’s orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. This was the company’s 50th orbital mission of 2024.

Jessica Smith
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