| Welcome to Global Village Space

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Elon Musk introduces Starlink in Indonesia

Elon Musk, the renowned billionaire head of SpaceX and Tesla, arrived in Bali, Indonesia, on Sunday, May 19, via private jet.

Elon Musk, the renowned billionaire head of SpaceX and Tesla, arrived in Bali, Indonesia, on Sunday, May 19, via private jet. His visit marked a significant milestone for Indonesia as he introduced SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, to the nation’s health sector. The launch event took place at a community health center in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali. Musk, dressed in a traditional green batik shirt, was accompanied by Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi, and Maritime and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono.

Transforming Connectivity in Remote Regions

Starlink aims to revolutionize internet access across Indonesia, particularly in its remote and underserved regions. During the event, Musk emphasized the transformative power of internet connectivity, stating, “I’m very excited to bring connectivity to places that have low connectivity. If you have access to the internet, you can learn anything.” The initial deployment of Starlink was showcased at three Indonesian health centers: two in Bali and one on the remote island of Aru in Maluku.

Read More: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launches another Starlink mission

Addressing the Digital Divide

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago with over 17,000 islands and a population exceeding 270 million, faces significant challenges in providing equal internet access. The introduction of Starlink is seen as a crucial step towards bridging this digital divide. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin highlighted the impact on healthcare, noting that 2,700 community health centers previously struggled with internet access, and 700 had no access at all. “With Starlink, these health centers can now provide services comparable to those in urban areas,” Sadikin said.

Expanding Starlink’s Reach

Indonesia becomes the third Southeast Asian country to embrace Starlink, following Malaysia and the Philippines. Last year, Malaysia issued a license to SpaceX, and a Philippine-based firm signed a deal with the company in 2022. Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi confirmed that Starlink is now commercially available in Indonesia, with a strategic focus on outer and underdeveloped regions. The government’s priority is to enhance internet services in these areas, promoting better access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Lifeline for Remote Communities

The benefits of high-speed internet connectivity extend beyond healthcare. Musk pointed out that with internet access, even residents of remote villages can engage in global learning and business activities. “If you have some virtual services that you wish to sell to the world, even if you’re in a remote village, you can now do so with an internet connection,” he explained. This capability is expected to bring substantial economic opportunities and improvements in quality of life to rural communities.

Future Prospects and Collaborations

While the focus of this visit was on Starlink, Musk acknowledged Indonesia’s efforts to attract Tesla to invest in its burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry. However, he reiterated that his current priority is on the satellite internet service. Musk is scheduled to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday and will address the World Water Forum taking place in Bali.

Read More: SpaceX rejects FAA report on Starlink satellite dangers

Starlink’s launch in Indonesia signifies a major step towards equalizing internet access in the region. Pratama Persadha, chairman of the Communication and Information System Security Research Center, emphasized the broad benefits of satellite-based internet services. “A satellite-based internet service like Starlink will certainly be very beneficial for the country because there are still many regions which don’t have internet access,” he said. The service is already widely used in Ukraine, where it supports military, hospital, business, and aid organization operations.