The Telkom 3S was launched by the Indonesian telecommunications company PT Telkom Indonesia from the Guiana Space Center, Kourou, French Guiana, at 4:39 Western Indonesia Standard Time (WIB) on Wednesday.
The satellite was launched on schedule at the Jupiter Control Center, Guiana Space Center. Following the countdown at 4:39, the rocket launcher Ariane 5 blasted off from the launch pad, carrying the Telkom 3S satellite to its orbital slot at 118 degrees eastern longitude.
The launch of the satellite was witnessed by PT Telkomunikasi Indonesias President Director Alex J. Sinaga, a number of members of the board of directors and commissioners of Telkom, representatives of the ministry of informatics and communications, and the ministry of state-owned enterprises.
"Its fantastic, congratulations to Thales and Arianespace for their hard work," Alex said in his remarks after the launch of the satellite.
He added that the Telkom 3S is expected to increase the capacity and quality of the Internet services in Indonesia.
The US$215 million worth satellite carries 24 C-band, eight extended C-band, and 10 Ku-band transponders, which intends to provide high-definition television services, faster mobile communications, and Internet applications across the sprawling archipelago of over 17 thousand islands.
The launch of the satellite was also witnessed by Minister of Information and Technology Rudiantara at the Telkomsel Smart Office building on Jalan Gatot Subroto, Jakarta.
On the occasion, the minister and hundreds of employees of Telkom Group witnessed the launch of the Telkom 3S satellite through a giant monitor till dawn.
The satellite was launched and successfully moved toward the orbit. Its successful launch was applauded by everyone present at the occasion.
Rudiantara appreciated the hard work of Telkom and its success in the launch of the satellite. "Telkoms achievement in launching the ninth satellite is basically the achievement of Indonesia," he noted.
The minister expressed hope that the operation of the Telkom 3S will boost the development of satellite business in the country. "We cannot reach all the isolated areas in Indonesia just by using cable network. It is possible only through satellites," Rudiantara asserted.
Telkom 3S provides communication services with higher bit-rate, resulting in better quality of communication. Thus, the television broadcast, mobile communications services and broadband Internet can reach all areas of Indonesia, Southeast Asia and some East Asian states.
With Telkom 3S satellite, the telecommunications company (PT Telkom Indonesia) will have three active satellites in orbit, namely Telkom 1, Telkom 2 and Telkom 3S.
Having the active period about 15 years since its launch, Telkom 3S has a capacity of 49 transponders, comprising of 24 transponders of C-Band (24 TPE), 8 transponders extended of C-Band (12 TPE) and 10 Ku-band transponders (13 TPE).
Telkom 3S is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) of France, launched with the Ariane 5 ECA rocket VA235 owned by Arianespace Europa.
"Telkom 3S replaces Telkom 1, which will expire in 2018," Telkoms Director of Network and IT Solution, Abdus Somad Arief said.
Telkom 3S satellite was launched with an investment of around US$300 million, which will function to improve and expand the scope of telecommunications services, especially in remote areas that cannot be traversed by the optical cable.
The General Chairman of the Indonesian Telematics Society (Mastel), Kristiono, opined that the launch of the satellite is part of the efforts to shore up Indonesias digital sovereignty.
"Indonesia, with its islands and geographical conditions, is difficult to be reached without a satellite infrastructure. It is a fact that over 50 foreign satellites have a footprint that overlaps Indonesias sovereign region while the countrys own satellite coverage only accounted for 10 percent of it. The Telkom 3S satellite will improve the coverage, capacity and the quality of services," asserted Kristiono.
Indonesians have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the Telkom 3S satellite because it can facilitate telecommunication services to even isolated areas of the country.
Thus, the Telkom 3S satellite will help connect all the regions in the Unitary State of Indonesia (NKRI) that has thousands of islands. It is difficult so far to provide internet access to those islands through an optical fiber cable network or microwave on land.
"With the satellites, all the NKRI regions and even some parts of neighboring countries will be accessible," noted Effendi.
In the meantime, the operation of the Telkom 3S satellite can facilitate the development of tourism in the country.
"I appreciate the launch of Telkom 3S satellite, because it becomes the solution to the development of national tourism. Hopefully, the launch will run smoothly," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
According to Yahya, Indonesia is geographically an island country with thousands of islands, which has a tourism potential but cannot be maximally accessed by telecommunications infrastructure and Internet.
"With increasingly wider Internet access across the country, the tourism sector, particularly the development of the 10 primary tourism destinations, could be boosted from now. Tourism is the fourth biggest foreign exchange contributor to the national economy," noted Yahya.(*)