Starlink Internet Now Available in Indonesia

Elon Musk's starlink and router in Indonesia

Starlink is now available in 17,000 islands of Indonesia. The satellite-based internet service, operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, promises high-speed internet even in the most remote and rural regions of Indonesia. According to the AP, Musk visited the island of Bali Today, Sunday 19th of May, 2024, to officially launch the SpaceX’s satellite internet service.

While specific details of the agreement between Starlink and the Indonesian government remain undisclosed, the deal focuses on revolutionizing digital connectivity and internet speed and access for millions of Indonesians, providing them with reliable access to online education, digital commerce, and most especially for the country’s medical sector.

“This can make it really a lifesaver for remote medical clinics, and I think it could be a possibility for education as well,” Musk told reporters.

“With Starlink’s entry into the Indonesian market, we are on the cusp of a digital transformation,” said the Minister of Communication and Information Technology. “This will not only bridge the digital divide but also spur economic growth and innovation.”

Musk arrived on the Indonesian resort island of Bali by private jet before attending the launch ceremony at a community health center in Denpasar, the provincial capital. He stated that the availability of Starlink service in Indonesia would help millions in remote parts of the country access the internet.

With a population of over 270 million spanning three different time zones, Indonesia stands to benefit significantly from this enhanced connectivity. “I’m very excited to bring connectivity to places that have low connectivity,” Musk said. “If you have access to the internet, you can learn anything.”

Starlink was launched at three Indonesian health centers on Sunday, including two in Bali and one on the remote island of Aru in Maluku. A video presentation at the launch demonstrated how high-speed internet can enable real-time data input to better address health challenges such as stunting and malnutrition.

Elon Musk is scheduled to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday, May 20th, 2024 and will address the World Water Forum taking place on the island. Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi, who attended the Bali launch, mentioned that while Starlink is now commercially available, the government will prioritize its services for outer and underdeveloped regions.

Prior to Sunday’s launch, Starlink obtained a permit to operate as an internet service provider for retail consumers and received approval to provide networks, having secured a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) permit, Budi Setiadi told Reuters. SpaceX’s Starlink, which owns around 60% of the roughly 7,500 satellites orbiting Earth, is a dominant player in the satellite internet industry.

Indonesia is the third country in Southeast Asia where Starlink will operate, following Malaysia, which issued the firm a license last year, and the Philippines, where a local firm signed a deal with SpaceX in 2022. Starlink is also widely used in Ukraine, serving the military, hospitals, businesses, and aid organizations.