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Musk launches Starlink in Indonesia, eyes future investment

Bloomberg • 2 min read
Musk launches Starlink in Indonesia, eyes future investment
Tourists at Double Six beach in Seminyak, Bali. Jokowi, who had earlier been slated to attend the Starlink inauguration at a community health centre in Bali, was not in attendance. Photo: Bloomberg
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Elon Musk inaugurated SpaceX’s Starlink internet services in Indonesia on May 19 as the world’s largest archipelago seeks to boost connectivity to its most remote areas.

The inauguration took place at a community health centre in Bali. The billionaire, clad in a green batik and mobbed by onlookers, said he was excited to bring Starlink to Indonesian villages with no connectivity or very low bandwidth, adding “this can really be a lifesaver” for patients seeking medical treatment.

As well as connecting far-flung provinces, Indonesia expects Starlink to improve education and health outcomes, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Panjaitan said in a statement.

Starlink, which delivers broadband internet from SpaceX’s satellites, received a licence to operate in the country earlier this month.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has long been courting Musk to cap off his decade-long bid to make Indonesia a destination of choice for foreign investors.

Musk said in Bali that it is likely his other companies “will invest in Indonesia in the future”, without giving details.

See also: Seatrium and M1 sign MOU to explore 5G connectivity in yards

Jokowi, who had earlier been slated to attend the Starlink inauguration in Bali, was not in attendance.

In September, Jokowi said Indonesia was still in discussions with Tesla Inc. to invest in the nation’s burgeoning battery industry, despite the downturn in the electric-vehicle market. Starlink is also set to test its internet services in Indonesia’s planned new capital city Nusantara, which Jokowi aims to inaugurate by August.

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