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As the bank with the largest network in Indonesia, which provides services to more than 50 million customers, BRI needs satellite communications to connect more than 9,800 conventional outlets (Head Office, Branch Offices, Sub Branch Offices, BRI Units, Cash Offices, BRI Teras and BRI Mobile Teras), as well as more than 100,000 e-Channel outlets. BRI networks spreads throughout the country from cities to rural areas. Many of these outlets cannot be economically reached by terrestrial telecommunications infrastructure. Therefore, satellite communication for BRI serves both as the primary and backup means of communication.
Currently, the scale of BRI's operation requires support from its networks which are equal to 23 satellite transponders. For satellite-based communication network, BRI has been leasing from 9 satellite service providers in Indonesia. The needs of satellite transponders will increase in the future, inline with BRI's network development strategy, which is expected to expand into more rural areas in Indonesia, especially in the remote islands, considering Indonesia is an archipelago with more than 17,000 islands.
The need for satellite communications is becoming increasingly urgent because of the growth of BRI's network. Some innovations of the network models developed by BRI are mobile outlets, such as Mobile Teras and Floating Teras that can be economically implemented using satellite communication.
Nevertheless, as part of the Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and BRI's need to mitigate operational risks by applying redundancy systems to maintain operational continuity as required by the authorities, BRI will continue to use the Indonesian satellite providers that has been supporting for many years.
In designing the satellite, BRI seeks to maximize the Indonesia satellite's filing of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), where one of the satellite filings status will be upgraded from Coordinated be Notified, therefore, BRI's satellite, which called BRIsat, is expected to simultaneously become a solution in maintaining the continuity of the satellite filing 150.5o E orbit location. The BRIsat program also attached with a contingency programs in order to maintain the continuity of filing orbit 150.5o E.
BRIsat service will reach Indonesia and ASEAN countries, East Asia (including most of China), most Pacific (Hawaii) and Western Australia (Perth) and will have a 36 x 36 MHz C-band transponders and 9 x 72 MHz Ku-band. Some transponders will be specifically allocated to the interests of the government of Republic of Indonesia.
The procurement processes of BRIsat have been performed for more than six months, with the involvement of technical and legal consultants, both domestic and international. The process began with a Request for Information (RFI) to various satellite manufacturing companies and satellite launcher, followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the companies included in the shortlist. The process of determining the winner was closely follows the principles of fairness and good corporate governance by taking into account independent opinions from professional consultants. The process has finally set Space Systems/Loral (SSL) from USA and Arianespace of France as the winner.
Final design and manufacturing process of the satellite will be completed in SSL's factory in Palo Alto, California, which expected to take approximately 24 months, and after taking into account the shipment and the launch campaign, the satellite will be ready for launch in 25-26 months from the effective date of contract, which will be around mid 2016 in Kourou, French Guiana, South America.
As mentioned above, some of the transponders will be allocated to the government of the Republic of Indonesia. Therefore, in addition to the use of BRIsat for supporting BRI's operation, some of the transponders will also be used by the Indonesian government for direct communication, with or between Indonesian representative offices in the countries within the satellite service coverage (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Cambodia, South Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, and Western Australia).
In addition, BRIsat will be owned and self operated by BRI, thus encryption process and the control of channels will be completely managed by Indonesian institution. Furthermore, in terms of information security, SSL as the appointed party to build the BRIsat, has committed in the contract to fully meet the specific needs requested by BRI, that is there will be no equipment in the BRIsat allowing unlawful intercept.