While Starlink is ramping up efforts to expand its foothold in Asia, satellite operators there remain undeterred as they expect the U.S. broadband service would end up seeking their help for business.
Indonesia’s Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) said March 23 it has ordered a high-throughput satellite from Boeing to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in 2023.
Indonesia’s government has secured financing to continue manufacturing the SATRIA broadband satellite, although its intended orbital slot remains up in the air.
Satellite operators in the Asia-Pacific say they are having discussions with companies planning large constellations of broadband satellites, but lack clarity on how such systems will work in their markets.
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket failed April 9 while attempting to launch a commercial communications satellite meant to provide broadcast and broadband services to Indonesia and beyond, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.
APT Satellite reported a 14% revenue drop in 2019 as regional competitors with new satellites started taking market share.
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.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying an Indonesian communications satellite, an Israeli lunar lander and a U.S. Air Force smallsat launched Feb. 21 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Indonesian communications satellite that is SpaceX’s primary payload for its second Falcon 9 launch this year overcame a change of manufacturers and the loss of a U.S. Ex-Im Bank loan to reach the launch pad.
China Great Wall Industry Corp. has clinched a contract with an Indonesian joint venture to build a replacement for a satellite that is running out of fuel early due to an underperformed Long March launch.