Musk launches satellite internet service in Indonesia for healthcare sector

The aim is to bridge the digital divide in a country with over 270 million people spread across three time zones.

Astronomy, Outer Space, Electrical Device, Solar Panels, Satellite

Elon Musk, alongside Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, introduced SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service to Indonesia’s health sector during a launch event on Sunday. Musk, adorned in a traditional green batik shirt, emphasised the potential of Starlink to enhance internet accessibility for millions residing in remote areas across Indonesia’s vast archipelago. The initiative aims to bridge the digital divide in a country with over 270 million people spread across three time zones.

The launch ceremony, held at a community health centre in Denpasar, Bali, marked the deployment of Starlink at three Indonesian health centres, including sites in Bali and the remote island of Aru in Maluku. A video demonstration showcased how high-speed internet facilitated real-time data input, aiding in addressing health challenges like stunting and malnutrition. Musk expressed his enthusiasm for expanding connectivity, highlighting the transformative impact of internet access on learning and development.

While speculation arose about Musk’s potential involvement in Indonesia’s electric vehicle industry, he reiterated his focus on Starlink during the event. Despite Indonesia’s efforts to attract Tesla for EV-related manufacturing, Musk stressed the importance of internet connectivity as a primary agenda. The Indonesian government, represented by Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi, underscored Starlink’s commercial availability, prioritising its deployment in remote and underdeveloped regions to address connectivity gaps.

Why does it matter?

Starlink’s entry into Indonesia marks another milestone for SpaceX’s satellite internet venture, which holds a dominant position in the global satellite internet market. With permits secured for retail consumer services and network provision, Starlink’s expansion underscores its commitment to bridging digital disparities worldwide. Musk’s upcoming meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and participation in the World Water Forum signify broader engagements to leverage technology for societal advancement and connectivity enhancement.