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Elon Musk set to launch Starlink satellite Internet in Indonesia

SpaceX founder Elon Musk will be in Indonesia for the launch of the company's Starlink internet satellite service in the country on May 19, state media reported citing a senior minister.

The American tech billionaire will join Indonesian President Joko Widodo to launch the broadband services of the aerospace company's satellite network at the World Water Forum (WWF) in Bali, the country's Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Wednesday, according to Antara news agency.

"The President, together with Elon Musk, will launch Starlink in the hopes of facilitating communication in remote areas. The launch will take place on Sunday," the minister was cited as saying.

Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi said that that Starlink has obtained business licences to operate as a telecommunications provider in the country.

The satellite-powered Internet provider would help Indonesia broaden Internet access to regions uncovered by local Internet providers on account of geographical factors, he said.

As of now, Starlink is available in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brazil and Chile.

Most satellite internet services come from single geostationary satellites orbiting the planet at 35,786 km. As a result, the round trip data time between the user and satellite--also known as latency--is high, making it nearly impossible to support streaming, online gaming, video calls or other high data rate activities.

Starlink is a constellation of thousands of satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe. Because Starlink satellites are in a low orbit, latency is significantly lower 25 ms vs 600+ ms, as per the company's website.

SpaceX is the only satellite operator able to launch its satellites as needed and with frequent, low-cost launches, Starlink claims its satellites are constantly updated with the newest technology.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket put into orbit 20 more Starlink satellites, including 13 with Direct to Cell capabilities, into Earth's orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, on the company's 50th orbital mission of 2024. (ANI)