The Indonesian government said it will ban the use of satellites that have exceeded their life expectancy in order to avoid incidents such as happened with the Telkom-1 satellite. Last month millions of Indonesians could not use ATMs (for withdrawing money and conducting various payments) for several days as the Telkom-1 satellite, which is used by several banks in Indonesia for data transmission, suffered technical difficulties.
The Telkom-1 satellite, which is operated by Indonesia's state-controlled telecommunications and network provider Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) and produced by US company Lockheed Martin, was launched in August 1999. However, its optimal lifespan is approximately 15 years (which was reached in 2014) and therefore it is now vulnerable to technical difficulties. However, it was still used - up to last month - to transmit data for Indonesian banks. Besides problems in the banking sector the breakdown of Telkom-1 also disrupted several television and radio programs.
Rudiantara, Indonesian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said the central government will increase monitoring of satellite operators in order to avoid similar problems in the future. For example, satellite operators will be asked - about three or four years prior to the end of the optimal lifespan of the existing satellite - whether they have been preparing the launch of a new satellite to replace the existing one. The operator will then also need to show contracts with the satellite manufacturer and the agency that launches the new satellite.
Telekomunikasi Indonesia has now completely stopped using the Telkom-1 satellite. The company said it decided to continue using the satellite after 2014 (when its optimal lifespan finished) because a study (conducted together with satellite manufacturer Lockheed Martin) showed that the Telkom-1 could function for another five years (up to 2019).
Indonesian Satellites in Orbit:
|108 BT orbit slot|
|Telkom-2||Nov. 2005||2020||157 BT orbit slot|
|Indostar II||May 2009||2024||107.7 BT orbit slot|
|Palapa D||Aug. 2009||2020||113 BT orbit slot|
|Lippostar-1||Jun. 2012||2028||124 BT orbit slot|
|BRIsat||Jun. 2016||2031||150.0 BT orbit slot|
|Telkom-3S||Feb. 2017||2032||118 BT orbit slot|
Source: Bisnis Indonesia