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Musk Launches Starlink in Indonesia, Eyes More Investments

Elon Musk has introduced SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet services to Indonesia, aiming to enhance connectivity
May 20, 2024

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has officially launched its Starlink satellite internet service in Indonesia, aiming to bridge the connectivity gap in the country’s remote regions. This significant step comes as Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, strives to enhance internet access for millions living in underserved rural areas.

The launch event took place at a community health center in Bali, where Musk expressed his enthusiasm about the project. He highlighted the transformative impact of internet connectivity, especially for remote medical clinics where it can be a critical lifeline. "It is really important to emphasize the importance of internet connectivity and how much of a life-changer and a life-saver it can be," Elon Musk told local media.

Starlink, a SpaceX initiative, deploys advanced satellites to provide internet access to hard-to-reach locations. Already operational in Malaysia and the Philippines, Starlink’s expansion into Indonesia marks a significant milestone. With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia faces a considerable challenge in bridging the urban-rural connectivity divide.

Indonesia’s Communication and Informatics Minister, Budi Arie Setiadi, has underscored the potential of Starlink to extend internet access to areas beyond the reach of local providers. He also sought to alleviate concerns about the impact on local internet businesses, emphasizing the complementary nature of Starlink’s services.

Musk, who also heads electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, underscored the broad benefits of internet access. "When you have access to the internet, you can learn anything," he said. "If you don’t have internet connectivity, it is very difficult to learn." He also pointed out that internet connectivity allows remote communities to engage in global commerce, potentially boosting local prosperity.

When asked about potential investments in Indonesia’s electric vehicle sector, Musk indicated that his primary focus is on Starlink for now but hinted at future possibilities. "It’s very likely that my companies will invest in Indonesia," he remarked.

Additionally, Indonesian minister Luhut Pandjaitan revealed that Musk is considering setting up an EV battery plant in the country, following discussions with President Joko Widodo. This potential investment could further strengthen Indonesia’s position in the global tech and automotive industries.

The introduction of Starlink in Indonesia is poised to significantly enhance connectivity in remote areas, driving educational and economic opportunities and fostering greater inclusivity in the digital age.

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