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Elon Musk launches Starlink satellite internet service in Indonesia

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Elon Musk launches Starlink satellite internet service in Indonesia

On Sunday, Elon Musk visited Bali, a popular tourist destination in Indonesia, to introduce Starlink satellite internet service in the biggest country in the world.

At a community health centre in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali, where he launched the Starlink service alongside Indonesian politicians, Musk—dressed in a green Batik shirt—was welcomed with a wreath of flower petals.

With a population of over 270 million people living in a huge archipelago of 17,000 islands spread over three time zones, Indonesia has been attempting for years to strike agreements with Musk’s Tesla about battery investment and for Musk’s SpaceX to supply fast internet to the nation’s outlying areas.

Musk tested the Starlink internet service’s speed at the event with a number of medical professionals from Indonesia’s outlying areas, including as Aru, one of the country’s uninhabited and most distant islands in the Maluku province.

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

“You can study anything and market your company services globally if you have access to the internet. Thus, I believe it will be quite advantageous,” he stated.

Additionally, he inked a deal to improve connection in the nation’s educational and health sectors. The arrangement between Musk’s SpaceX, the aerospace business that runs Starlink services, and the Indonesian government was not made public.

Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated that the service’s launch at a health clinic is in line with Starlink’s larger goal of offering reasonably priced access to high-speed internet services, particularly in underserved and rural areas.

Close supporter of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Pandjaitan told reporters, “Our remote regions need Starlink to expand high-speed internet services, especially to help with problems in the health, education, and maritime sectors.” On Sunday, he had separate discussions with Musk.

The Minister of Communication and Informatics, Budi Arie Setiadi, has previously stated that the restricted coverage of base transceiver stations prevents local internet providers—who depend on them for signal transmission—from reaching the distant islands. The low-orbiting satellites of Starlink will enable them to provide speedier internet with statewide coverage.

Around 2,700 of the more than 10,000 clinics in the nation, according to Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, do not have internet connectivity.

“Because communication between regions is said to be easier with the internet, reporting from health service facilities can be done in real time or up to date, which can open up better access to health services,” the man stated.

Musk is also expected to take part in the 10th World Water Forum, which aims to solve global water and sanitation concerns, during his first in-person visit to Bali.

Prior to the Bali summit of the Group of 20 top countries in 2022, Musk gave a speech at the B-20 business forum. Weeks after concluding his much watched takeover of Twitter, he joined the conference via video connection.

Musk’s visit occurs only a few weeks after Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, stated the business will “look at” manufacturing in Indonesia at their April 17 meeting with Widodo. During his visit to Indonesia on April 30, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that the business will spend $1.7 billion in new cloud and AI infrastructure over the following four years.

Under Widodo, Indonesia has encouraged growth in the information and digital technology industries with the goal of realising the government’s Golden Indonesia 2045 Vision. Exactly a century after gaining independence from Dutch colonisers, the nation aims to rank among the top five economies in the world with a GDP of up to $9 trillion.

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