PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), the first private satellite-based telecommunication company in Indonesia, is committed to realizing the Multifunction Satellite (SMF) project called Satellite of Republic of Indonesia (SATRIA). Through its subsidiary, PT Satelit Nusantara Tiga (SNT), and the PSN Consortium consisting of fully local entities , PSN is working together with France-based aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space (TAS) to begin the satellite construction program in September 2020.
The start of SATRIA construction was marked by the signing of the SATRIA Preparatory Work Agreement (PWA) by PSN President Director and SNT President Director, Adi Rahman Adiwoso, in Jakarta together with TAS VP Telecom Business Unit, Pascal Homsy, in France virtually on Thursday September 3, 2020. The virtual signing was witnessed by the Minister of Communication and Information (Menkominfo) Johnny Gerard Plate, President Director of the Telecommunication and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI) Anang Achmad Latif, Sales Director of South East Asia TAS Olivier Guilbert, and CEO Thales Indonesia Eric Jan. Moreover, also present at the virtual signing were Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Governor of Bank Indonesia Perry Warjiyo, and French Ambassador to Indonesia Olivier Chambard.
The Minister of Communication and Information, Johnny G. Plate, said, "I congratulate the PSN Consortium for completing the PWA signing of the SATRIA project between SNT as part of the PSN Consortium and Thales Alenia Space. The pandemic has had a very significant impact on the aerospace industry, including satellites, such as adverse effects on project completion, disruptions to supply chains, and a slowdown in the operation of manufacturing facilities. However, for Indonesia and its satellite work partners, the opposite is true. The PWA of the PSN and TAS Consortium shows that the investment climate and development of Indonesia's telecommunications infrastructure are not slowing down, but rather gaining momentum. "
PSN President Director and SNT President Director Adi Rahman Adiwoso explained that TAS construction will immediately be in effect with the PWA signing. Adi also emphasized that construction will commence this month.
"Indonesia can quickly become a digital society by facilitating education, governance, health, economy, etc. using Internet access. This accessibility prepares the entire nation for a future that will be revolve around digital technology,” Adi Rahman explained in Jakarta, Friday (4/9).
According to Adi, the SATRIA project is part of a series of Nusantara satellites by PSN group which began in 2019. This multifunction satellite has a capacity of 150 gigabytes per second (Gbps) using Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) technology in the Ka-Band frequency.
The SATRIA project, he said, is a strategic government decision of equal importance to the time when the government decided to launch the Palapa A Satellite in 1970s for a domestic satellite communication system, allowing all Indonesians to communicate and enjoy the first national television, TVRI.
"With a capacity of 150 Gbps - more than three times the national capacities that are currently still in use - we believe that SATRIA can be the solution to the digital gap that still exists in Indonesia,” Adi explained.
Furthermore, Adi also explained that SATRIA's total investment of US$ 550 million (IDR 8 trillion) would be financed by a syndicate of international banks, namely The Hongkong and Shanghai bank Corporation Limited (HSBC), Banco Santander, SA (Santander) and The Korean Development Bank (KDB) which is supported by a guarantor, namely Bpi France Assurance Export (Bpi), the Export Credit Agency from France, and a multilateral financial institution, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), based in Beijing, China, all constituting a loan facility percentage of approximately US$ 425 million (IDR 6.3 trillion) or 77.27% of the total investment. Meanwhile, the remaining US$ 125 million or equivalent to 22.73% of SATRIA's total investment will funded by the PSN Consortium's capital.
Adi added, the government, through the Telecommunication and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI), can make SATRIA equivalent leasing costs more efficient at 12-20% of the current government leasing fee by the use of the VHTS technology.
The world's leading satellite consultant from the United States, Northern Sky Research, predicts that the price of 1 megabyte per second (Mbps) in the market in 2024 will still be twice as expensive as what BAKTI will pay for the SATRIA project. Thus, said Adi, the government has made the right decision by implementing this program, as it offers affordable capacity rental that will allow government expenditure savings.
"We need to emphasize that the SATRIA project is not a very commercially profitable project for the company. However, we are honored to be able to take on the responsibility and part in developing Indonesia. We thank the Minister of Communication and Information and his staff, BAKTI, the funding supporters from the syndicated banks Bpi, HSBC, Santander, KDB, AIIB, and the Indonesian Infrastructure Guarantee Company, as well as all the parties that have supported the implementation of the SMF project. We hope that the SATRIA project can truly be the solution to the digital divide in Indonesia,” Adi concluded.