The Telecommunication and Information Accessibility Agency (Bakti) faces the challenge of preparing the ground stations or satellite signal receivers to optimize the function of the Rp21 trillion Satelit Multifungsi Satria-1. Although the satellite has been placed in orbit, it cannot be used without the presence of Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) in 37,000 service locations.
According to Bakti’s CEO, Fadhila Mathar, the Satria-1 satellite will undergo several testing processes before providing services to the earth. However, the main challenge lies in providing internet services to the ground, not in the satellite itself, but in the establishment of these service points on land and the readiness of the recipient locations in ministries and government agencies.
One of the challenges is ensuring the availability of electricity at the locations and the readiness of the responsible personnel to maintain the installed VSAT devices at those locations.
On November 1, 2023, the Satelit Multifungsi Satria-1 reached orbit 146 degrees east (BE) and is currently undergoing a series of tests before full operation. It will undergo In-Orbit Testing (IOT) in early November to check the performance of the satellite, especially the payload subsystem. After that, Satria-1 will undergo integration with the ground system and end-to-end testing to ensure its readiness for operation.
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin hopes that Satria-1 will support the nation’s sovereignty through digital connectivity. He believes that Satria-1 will not only drive digital transformation in the government but also in various sectors such as education and healthcare, with internet speeds reaching 3-20 Mbps per service location. However, the success of this opportunity is at risk without satellite signal receivers in several ministry and agency locations, due to several obstacles.
To overcome these obstacles, Ian Yosef M. Edward from the Institute of Technology Bandung suggests that Bakti collaborate with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Villages. This collaboration will help Bakti calculate the electricity needs to reduce operational costs.
Ariyanto A. Setyawan from the Indonesian Digital Empowerment Community emphasizes the importance of collaboration. Since the VSAT will be deployed in other institutions and not owned by Bakti, they need to work together with the installation sites, such as village offices, community health centers, and schools.
In conclusion, the optimization of the Satelit Multifungsi Satria-1 relies on the successful establishment of ground stations at 37,000 service locations across the country. Challenges such as electricity availability, land conditions, and security need to be addressed in order to ensure the smooth operation of the satellite and deliver digital connectivity to various sectors in Indonesia.