Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), the country's second-largest lender by market capitalization, will become the world's first bank that has its own communications satellite. On 28 April 2014, a contract was signed between Arianespace and BRI for the launch of the Indonesian satellite, which will be named BRIsat. The contract signing ceremony took place in Jakarta, and was witnessed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as well as various other high positioned officials.
BRIsat will be launched by an Ariane 5 launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana) in 2016. Through this new satellite, BRI aims to enhance its corporate performance, save telecommunication spending by 50 percent (currently BRI uses 20 to 22 transponders from 7 or 8 providers such as Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Indosat and Citra Sari Makmur), and expand its activities and services to all corners of the vast Indonesian archipelago. The construction and launch of BRIsat will cost approximately USD $230 million.
BRIsat will be the fifth satellite to be launched by Arianespace for Indonesian operators. According to the website of Arianespace "BRIsat will be built by Space Systems/Loral, and will weigh about 3,500 kg at launch. Fitted with C and Ku-band transponders, it will offer a design life exceeding 15 years. From its orbital position at 150.5° East, it will deliver highly reliable communications services to BRI's 11,000 bank branches across the Indonesian archipelago."
Arianespace Senior Vice-President and Sales & Customers Jacques Breton added, "We are very proud of our selection by BRI, which has indeed honored Arianespace by entrusting us with their first satellite. Their selection shows the competitiveness of our launch services for satellites of the 3 metric ton class. This is our fifth contract with Indonesia, coming 15 years after the launch of Palapa C2 in 1996, and also further cements an exceptional space partnership between Indonesia and Europe."
Currently, BRI needs to handle about 15 to 16 million electronic transactions per day. It frequently occurs that there are disturbances in these transactions due to the weak quality of the current satellites. Therefore, to increase the quality of its services, BRI decided to launch its own satellite. As Indonesia is an archipelago, banks need to use satellites for communication (instead of fiber-optic communication).