Telekomunikasi Indonesia, or Telkom, the country’s largest telecommunications firm, announced on Wednesday (30/08) its decision to decommission the company’s oldest satellite, Telkom-1, following a glitch that has disrupted banking operations across the country.
The satellite, which had run well beyond its operational age, handled data transmissions mainly for ATMs and bank branches across the country before it went offline last Friday.
“The latest results from an intensive investigation by Telkom with Lockheed Martin, as the manufacturer of Telkom 1, concluded that the satellite is beyond repair,” Alex J. Sinaga, the president director of Telkom, said as quoted by Antaranews.com.
The decision affected Telkom’s 63 clients, which used the satellite’s 29 transponders to communicate with 15,000 sites across the country.
Alex said Telkom is working on recovering the conection at a pace of 1,000 sites per day by migrating the customers’ links to other Telkom satellites. The company expects the migration process to finish on Sep. 10.
The company launched the Telkom-1 satellite on Aug. 13, 1999 and expected it to operate for 15 years. However, Telkom and Lockheed reviewed the satellite’s operations between 2014 and 2016 and concluded that it was still capable to operate normally until 2019.
With the Telkom-1 now gone, pressure is mounting on the company to ensure that the satellite’s replacement, the Telkom-4, will launch according to schedule in mid-2018, Alex said.