Elon Musk and Indonesian Health Minister Launch Starlink for Healthcare

Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, second from left, and Elon Musk sign an agreement on enhancing connectivity at a public health center in Denpasar

Elon Musk, the visionary CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, along with Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, announced the launch of SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, aimed at revolutionizing healthcare in Indonesia. This significant event took place on Sunday, focusing on enhancing internet connectivity in the remote regions of the vast Indonesian archipelago.

Starlink’s Impact on Indonesian Healthcare

The launch ceremony, held at a community health center in Denpasar, Bali, marked the beginning of a new era for Indonesia’s healthcare sector. Elon Musk, dressed in a traditional green batik shirt, emphasized the transformative potential of Starlink for Indonesia’s over 270 million residents spread across three time zones. “I’m very excited to bring connectivity to places that have low connectivity,” Musk stated. “If you have access to the internet, you can learn anything.”

The Starlink service commenced at three Indonesian health centers, two in Bali and one on the remote island of Aru in Maluku. A video presentation at the event showcased how high-speed internet could facilitate real-time data input, crucial for addressing health issues like stunting and malnutrition.

Elon Musk’s Focus on Starlink

When questioned about potential investments in Indonesia’s burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry, Musk made it clear that his current focus is on Starlink. “We are focusing this event on Starlink and the benefits that connectivity brings to remote islands,” he said. He underscored the life-saving importance of internet connectivity, especially for remote regions.

Indonesia has long been courting Musk to invest in its EV sector, leveraging the country’s abundant nickel resources. However, for now, Starlink remains his primary commitment in the region.

Government’s Role and Future Plans

Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi, present at the Bali launch, announced that Starlink is now available commercially in Indonesia. Initially, the government will prioritize services for outer and underdeveloped regions. Prior to the launch, Starlink secured a permit to operate as an internet service provider for retail consumers, receiving the necessary Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) permit.

Starlink’s introduction in Indonesia makes it the third Southeast Asian nation to adopt the service, following Malaysia and the Philippines. Malaysia issued a license to Starlink last year, and a Philippine-based firm partnered with SpaceX in 2022. Globally, Starlink is a dominant player in satellite internet, owning about 60% of the approximately 7,500 satellites orbiting Earth.

Elon Musk’s Visit and Broader Implications

Musk’s visit to Indonesia is not limited to the Starlink launch. He is scheduled to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday and will also speak at the World Water Forum held on the island. This visit underscores the broader significance of Starlink’s deployment and Musk’s potential future engagements in Indonesia.

Starlink’s Global Reach

Starlink’s services have proven invaluable in various global contexts. In Ukraine, the satellite internet service is widely used by the military, hospitals, businesses, and aid organizations, highlighting its critical role in both everyday and emergency communications. The deployment in Indonesia is expected to similarly enhance connectivity and access to vital services in remote areas.


The launch of Starlink in Indonesia represents a pivotal step in bridging the digital divide in the country’s remote regions. By providing high-speed internet access, Starlink aims to enhance healthcare services, enable real-time data handling, and offer educational opportunities to millions of Indonesians. While Elon Musk’s current focus remains on Starlink, the successful implementation of this project could pave the way for future investments in Indonesia’s tech and EV sectors. As Indonesia becomes the latest Southeast Asian nation to adopt Starlink, the impact of improved connectivity is set to resonate across its diverse and widespread communities.

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