Delayed Indonesian-based broadband satellite SATRIA is fully-funded

Delayed Indonesian-based broadband satellite SATRIA is fully-funded

The Satellite industry is broad, interesting and offers many opportunities to people who venture into the business. However, it has one limitation; it is pricey. Getting one satellite into the earth’s orbit is no secret a fortune. It means you have to invest in the designing, development phase, testing and launching. Not to mention, anything can go wrong, and it can blow up unless you are accurate and with the right materials. These facts have probably given you an insight into what it means to have a space company or agency.

Recently, Indonesia’s government has secured funding to make the SATRIA broadband satellite, but its orbital slot is up in the air. Thales Alenia Space ventured into the Ka-band satellite manufacturing in September following partial funding. And these finances have been running the centre up to this point.

Thales Alenia Space spokesperson Sandrine Bielecki spoke to SpaceNews about the situation. Sandrine explained that future development would be uninterrupted since the company has a $545 million funding and have France’s Bpifrance export-credit agency as a backup plan in case of anything. Also, it is confirmed that the development team has achieved many design milestones.

About $431 million of the total funding package comes from debt, with the rest of the money sourced from equity. Pasifik Satelit Nusantara, a domestic satellite operator, is the provider of the equity element thanks to a public-private partnership. The operator claims that Bpifrance is willing to offer loans from the Korea Development Bank and the Banco Santander HBSC.

A South Korean state-run KPB claims that they have bet on the deal with $126 million, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank commits $150 million. The financial deal closed on February 26th via a virtual ceremony in the Indonesian Presidential Palace. SATRIA satellite has set ambitious targets intending to beam over 150 gigabits per seconds worldwide and narrow the digital difference among territories in the country. It will set a network to connect over 90,000 schools, 40,000 hospitals and, public buildings. Also, the satellite is targeting linking regional government sites that are running outside the satellite and terrestrial networks.

In 2019, July the Thales Alenia Space stated that it would be the prime contractor of SATRIA, but there are delays due to project finances. These delays caused SATRIA to miss a regulatory deadline to start its services by March 2022 on the 146 degrees orbital slot. The Indonesian government has communicated with the International Telecommunication Union to extend the deadline due to the Covid-19 disruptions. Also, Indonesia is considering launching a spacecraft in the orbital slot to keep it. Experts forecast that the satellite will go into orbit by 2023.

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