Elon Musk introduces new Starlink internet service using satellites.

Elon Musk launched Starlink satellite internet in Bali, Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago.

May 19th 2024.

Elon Musk introduces new Starlink internet service using satellites.
Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and CEO of companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, embarked on a journey to Indonesia's picturesque island of Bali on a sunny Sunday. Donning a traditional green Batik shirt, Musk was greeted with a warm welcome at a community health clinic in Denpasar, the capital of Bali province. The purpose of his visit? To launch Starlink, a satellite internet service, in the world's largest archipelago nation.

Indonesia is a vast country, spanning over 17,000 islands and three time zones, with a population of over 270 million people. For years, the country has been striving to secure deals with Musk's companies, particularly Tesla for battery investments and SpaceX for providing high-speed internet to its remote regions. And now, with the launch of Starlink, that dream is becoming a reality.

At the launch ceremony, Musk took a speed test of the Starlink internet service alongside local health workers from remote areas, such as the island of Aru in the Maluku province. He expressed his excitement about the potential of this service, stating that it could be a lifesaver for remote medical clinics and a game-changer for education and businesses. He even signed an agreement to enhance connectivity in the country's health and education sectors, although the details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Launching the service at a health clinic aligns perfectly with Starlink's goal of providing affordable and accessible high-speed internet services, especially to underserved and remote regions, according to Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. He also added that the country's remote regions are in dire need of Starlink's services to improve internet access in crucial areas such as health, education, and maritime sectors. Pandjaitan, who is a close ally of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also held separate discussions with Musk during his visit.

Indonesia's Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi explained that local internet providers, who rely on base transceiver stations to transmit signals, are unable to reach outer islands due to limited coverage. However, with Starlink's low-orbit satellites, faster internet with nationwide coverage can now be delivered. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin also highlighted the significance of internet access in the country's healthcare sector, as there are still over 2,700 clinics without internet access out of more than 10,000 facilities.

Aside from launching Starlink, Musk also has other plans during his first in-person visit to Bali. He is scheduled to participate in the 10th World Water Forum, which focuses on addressing global water and sanitation challenges. This visit also marks Musk's second time in Bali, as he previously joined the conference virtually in 2022 ahead of the Group of 20 summit.

Musk's visit to Indonesia comes just weeks after other tech giants such as Apple's CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella also visited the country. Cook even mentioned the possibility of manufacturing in Indonesia, while Nadella announced a $1.7 billion investment in cloud and artificial intelligence infrastructure. This aligns with Indonesia's efforts to develop its digital technology and information sectors, as part of its "Golden Indonesia 2045 Vision" to become one of the world's top five economies by 2045, a century after gaining independence from Dutch colonizers.

In conclusion, Elon Musk's visit to Indonesia, particularly Bali, marks a significant milestone in the country's pursuit of progress and development. With the launch of Starlink and the potential for future investments, Indonesia is taking a step towards achieving its ambitious goals and becoming a major player in the global market. Reporting from Jakarta, Indonesia, this is Karmini, signing off.

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