Indonesian Satellite Service Provider, BigNet, has signed a US$78 million, long-term agreement with Kacific Broadband Satellites for the provision of a high-speed broadband service from 2017.
Terms of the deal will see the Pacific Islands provider, who supplies high-speed internet to the Pacific Islands, Eastern Indonesia and New Zealand, beam signals from its high throughput (HTS) Ka-band satellites to cover the whole of Indonesia.
Through this operation, Kacific says a particular emphasis will be on providing “good quality, affordable Internet” to rapidly developing areas in Eastern Indonesia.
“This is a key milestone for Kacific, and a great promise for Indonesia,” says Christian Patouraux, CEO, Kacific Broadband.
“It is the largest proof we have had to the key underlying belief behind the vision of the founders of Kacific: Broadband Internet demand is stifled by the current high prices.
“Bringing connectivity with disruptively low cost can unlock tremendous untapped demand in the South-East Asian and Pacific countries.”
Indonesia is a vast archipelago comprising over 17,000 Islands. It has the 19th largest land area in the world and is the world’s fourth most populous nation, with more than 250 million inhabitants, around 3.5 percent of the World’s total.
While a number of operators provide broadband to the most densely populated areas in Indonesia, Patouraux says the country is developing an ambitious national broadband plan.
In this plan, Patouraux says new broadband internet satellite operators like Kacific will play a key role to enable connectivity in secondary cities and villages, whether for schools, government buildings, enterprises and community Internet access points.
As a result of Kacific’s deal, BigNet customers can now access high speed internet by installing a small (75cm to 1.2m diameter) VSAT terminal, even in isolated islands and remote rural locations.
In large parts of Indonesia today, Internet connectivity, sometimes only available through 2G/3G networks, operates well below the expectations of modern enterprises, government officials and consumers.
“3G/4G is a “best effort” network,” adds Zoel Gandhi, Business Development Director, BigNet.
“Service quality is suitable only for general usage: it’s not enterprise quality.
“The network capacity and performance that many businesses would expect is not as good as you get with a dedicated broadband connection.
“People living in areas where forestry and fishing are the predominant industries have some buying power, but not enough for most ISPs to make a business case to serve them using fixed line networks.
“But with Kacific’s HTS service and VSAT terminals on the ground you can have a good network quality at a price that people can afford.”
Nicolas Tannady, CEO of BigNet says that the service would open up opportunities for the government and enterprises to provide important services to regions that would otherwise be under-served.
“Hospitals and clinics can get advice on the diagnosis and treatment of patients from experts,” he adds.
“Students can connect to lessons from the best teachers and access quality resources online. Project execution and emergency planning and disaster recovery programmes will be more effective.
“The service will also create opportunities for the wider public to do e-commerce and access affordable bandwidth, which can subsequently increase wealth of communities.”
Also attending the signing event, Adnan Batara, Operations and Technology Director for BigNet adds that the service could complement the reliability and availability criteria of the Indonesian Palapa Ring campaign in developed areas, at the same time giving equal accessibility to developing regions and closing the gaps between the two.
“We expect to achieve great things in conjunction with BigNet,” Patouraux adds. “Their people, like ours, are highly entrepreneurial.
“And we share a common vision of changing things in a big way. Both companies believe that if you lower the price of broadband sufficiently you will generate demand and create a market where others thought none existed in countries like Indonesia.”
This agreement is the seventh, and largest, that Kacific has signed since it announced 18 months ago its intention to provide a satellite broadband service for the greater Pacific region.