Elon Musk Visits Bali to Launch Starlink Service in Indonesia

Elon Musk was personally on hand to launch SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service in Indonesia over the weekend, aiming to provide high-speed internet access to remote and underserved areas of the world’s largest archipelago, which spans over 17,000 islands and three time zones.

Musk arrived on the island of Bali on Sunday, attending a launch ceremony at a community health center in Denpasar, Bali’s provincial capital. The event was a significant milestone for both SpaceX and Indonesia, as it marked the beginning of a new era in connectivity for the country. Indonesia’s chief investment minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who met Musk at the airport, highlighted the importance of this collaboration. “We are focusing this event on Starlink and the benefits that connectivity brings to remote islands,” Pandjaitan said. (via AP)

Along with Musk, the launch event was attended by several high-ranking officials, including Indonesia’s Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin and Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi. During the ceremony, Musk emphasized the transformative power of internet connectivity. “I’m very excited to bring connectivity to places that have low connectivity,” he said. “If you have access to the internet, you can learn anything.”

Starlink’s deployment began with three Indonesian health centers, two in Bali and one on the remote island of Aru in Maluku. The service aims to enhance healthcare delivery by enabling real-time data input and improving communication between health facilities.

Indonesia, home to over 270 million people, has struggled to provide reliable internet access across its vast and diverse landscape. Local internet providers, which rely on base transceiver stations, often fail to cover outer islands due to limited infrastructure. Starlink’s satellites, which remain in low orbit, offer a solution by delivering faster and more extensive internet coverage. “Our remote regions need Starlink to expand high-speed internet services, especially to help with problems in the health, education, and maritime sectors,” Pandjaitan said on Sunday.

The Indonesian government has been trying for years to attract investments from Musk. While discussions about Tesla’s potential involvement in Indonesia’s electric vehicle industry are ongoing, Musk kept the focus at the event on Starlink, “We are focusing this event on Starlink and the benefits that connectivity brings to remote islands.”

Starlink’s introduction in Indonesia follows its successful launches in Malaysia and the Philippines. The service has already proven valuable in various contexts, and promises to be a game-changer for Indonesia, providing crucial internet access to millions of people in remote areas.

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