- Two-thirds of Indonesia is unreachable by terrestrial systems
- Investment value hit US$215 million
INDONESIA’S largest telecommunication provider PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) launched its newest geostationary Telkom 3S satellite in a bid to improve their network quality and serve more areas in Indonesia.
The satellite was launched on Feb 15 from The Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, South America, and is estimated to reach orbit, right above Borneo Island on Feb 23.
This is Telkom’s ninth satellite in 40 years. Its first satellite Palapa A1 was launched in July 1976. Currently Telkom has two operating satellite, Telkom-1 was launched in August 1999 and Telkom-2 was launched in November 2005.
The investment value, which hit US$215 million included the manufacturing, satellite launch services, as well as insurance. In 2012, the Telkom 3 satellite had failed to reach orbit due to technical problems.
“We want to serve and give better quality service and networks to our country and its 260 million people,” Alex J Sinaga said.
“It is our milestone and at the same time strengthens our commitment to build Indonesia’s digital society, which in the end we hope will contributes to the growth of the global economy,” he added in a live streaming broadcast.
Telkom 3S was built by aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space and launched by an Ariane 5 rocket. In addition to designing, constructing, testing, and in-orbit delivery of the satellite, Thales Alenia Space also will supply control centre components and on-site engineers-team training.
The satellite is based on the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 family with a 6.5 kW payload fitted with24 C-band transponders, eight extended C-band transponders and 10 Ku-band transponders. With a launch mass of 3,550 kg at liftoff, Telkom 3S is designed for an expected lifetime of more than 16 years.
“The Ku-band transponders will allow better support of network as well as high definition television broadcast. It provides communication services with higher bit-rate” Alex added.
Better, wider access for Indonesia
The satellite will expand Telkom’s reach to the outer and underdeveloped area of Indonesia, as well as Southeast Asia (SEA) and some parts of East Asia.
According to Ministry of Information and Communication data, two-thirds of Indonesian areas are unreachable by terrestrial communication systems and can only be reached by satellite.
“Indonesia has 17,000 scattered islands, and it is not easy to connect them. To serve the country, we need around 300 transponders; currently Telkom owns 140 and has to rent the other 160,
“In the future we need to be able to supply ourselves and not depend on foreign satellites to serve the country,” Telkom’s chief technology officer Abdus Somad Arief told Digital News Asia (DNA)
Abdus has high hopes that Indonesia will be able to build more of its own micro-satellites to support the connectivity agenda that has been one of the critical agenda pushed by the current government.
He also said that the launch of Telkom 3S is critical to support the company’s voice and data services.
Data, internet, and IT services have been the backbone of Telkom’s business in the past two years, as traditional revenue makers such as cellular voice and short messaging services weaken.
In its third quarter 2016 financial results (9M16), data, Internet and IT services revenue increased 37.2% to Rp32.5 trillion (US$2.44 billion) from Rp23.7 trillion (US$1.78 billion) in the same period in 2015.
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