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State-controlled Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Indonesia's largest telecommunication and network provider, plans to launch its Telkom-4 satellite in 2018 through its subsidiary TelkomMetra. The Telkom-4 satellite, which will replace the aging Telkom-1 satellite, is equipped with 49 transponders that will be capable of beaming 100 Gbps mobile broadband across Indonesia, India and Southeast Asia. The USD $200 million satellite is expected to have a life span of 15 years.
Teguh Wahyoni, President Director of TelkomMetra, said the satellite's design and production process may take up to two years and therefore the launch of Telkom-4 is scheduled for 2018. Despite the slowing satellite business, he is optimistic about the fundamentals of the market particularly as there are still many regions in Indonesia that need Internet access. Wahyoni estimates that there are about 30 million Indonesian households that lack a fixed broadband Internet connection because these households are situated in remote areas. However, 40 percent of these households require Internet connectivity. This demand can partly be met by the new satellite.
US-based satellite communications company Space Systems Loral (SSL) will manufacture the Telkom-4 satellite. John Celli, President of SSL, said this order was the company's third satellite order from Indonesia. He added SSL is honored to play an important role in expanding the telecommunication infrastructure for both Indonesia an the neighboring region. Particularly an archipelago, such as Indonesia, needs satellite services as its population is spread over thousands of islands. The Telkom-4 satellite will be based on the SSL 1300 platform which provides the flexibility to support a wide range of applications and technology advances.
Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), which is listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), is also preparing to launch its Telkom-3S satellite as replacement for the original Telkom-3 satellite, which failed to reach orbit in August 2012.
In April 2014 Indonesian financial institution Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) announced it would launch its communications satellite named BRIsat in 2016. Through this USD $230 million satellite, BRI wants to improve its corporate performance, save telecommunication spending by 50 percent (currently BRI uses 20 to 22 transponders from 7 or 8 providers including Telkom, Indosat and Citra Sari Makmur), and expand its activities and services throughout the country. The BRIsat is expected to be launched in June 2016.
Dani Indra, Chairman of the Indonesia Satellite Association (ASSI), said - based on 2015 data - Indonesia's demand for satellite transponders is estimated at 250 units. However, currently there are only 110 transponders to meet Indonesia's demand, implying a shortage. To meet remainding demand regional satellites are used.