Indonesian government chooses PSN team for 150 Gbps satellite

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Adi Rahman Adiwoso PSN
Adi Rahman Adiwoso, CEO of Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN). Credit: PSN

WASHINGTON — Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has selected domestic satellite operator Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) to deploy and operate a broadband satellite designed to connect government institutions.

The ministry said May 3 that PSN will lead a consortium of companies on the project, expected to enter manufacturing late this year, launch in the second quarter of 2022, and begin service in 2023.

The Indonesian government is putting 20.68 trillion rupiah ($1.45 billion) into financing the Mulitfunction Satellite, called SATRIA, to cover capital expenditures and 15 years of operating expenses.

SATRIA will carry 150 gigabits per second of capacity using high-throughput Ka-band beams. The ministry plans to use the satellite to connect schools, hospitals, military facilities and regional government sites not linked by existing satellite or terrestrial infrastructure.

Franco-Italian manufacturer Thales Alenia Space will build the satellite, according to The Jakarta Post. Thales Alenia Space spokesperson Sandrine Bielecki declined to comment on the SATRIA program.

The Indonesian government previously expected to select a winner for the SATRIA program last year, and to have the satellite in orbit by 2022. PSN and fleet operator SES of Luxembourg had expressed interest in the program.

In a February interview, PSN CEO Adi Rahman Adiwoso said the company was a finalist for SATRIA.

“We are competing with one international consortium,” he said. “It was down from nine, now it’s only two … if that MFS [Multifunction Satellite] program comes through, then that will be our third spacecraft.”

PSN’s newest satellite, Nusantara Satu, launched Feb. 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The company has a second satellite, Nusantara Satu-2 (formerly Palapa-N1), under construction by China Great Wall Industry Corp. that is scheduled to launch in 2020 on a Chinese Long March 3B rocket.

Adiwoso said the winner of the SATRIA competition would be tasked with providing the satellite and the orbital slot. The Indonesian government will then use all the capacity for the lifetime of the satellite, he said.

The Indonesian government’s announcement did not include mention of an additional 50 gigabits per second of leased capacity meant to supplement the SATRIA satellite. However, last month SES and Telesat said they closed sizeable contracts with Indonesian customers —  Teleglobal on the SES-12 satellite and iForte on the Telstar-18 Vantage satellite — that are supporting the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

PSN’s consortium partners are Pintar Nusantara Sejahtera, Dian Semesta Sentosa, and Nusantara Satelit Sejahtera.