SpaceX's unit Starlink secures Indonesia operating permit

The satellite unit of Elon Musk's SpaceX has secured a permit to operate in Indonesia, the communications minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

Starlink had obtained a permit to operate as an internet service provider for retail consumers and had been given the go-ahead to provide networks, having received a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) permit, minister Budi Arie Setiadi said in an interview.

Indonesia is the third country in Southeast Asia where Starlink will operate. Malaysia issued the firm a license to provide internet services last year and a Philippine-based firm signed a deal with SpaceX in 2022.

"Starlink has met all the requirements needed to commercially operate in Indonesia," Budi said without providing details on the investment value.

The company will conduct a trial in Indonesia's new capital city, Nusantara, this month and the launch is expected afterwards, Budi said. The trial will last for a week, he added.

Starlink will cooperate with local network access providers when operating in Indonesia to comply with the country's regulations.

The government expects Starlink to provide internet services to Indonesia's remote areas, he added.

Starlink did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SpaceX's Starlink, which owns around 60% of the roughly 7,500 satellites orbiting earth, is dominant in the satellite internet sphere.

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