Wed, 18 Oct 2000

Pan Asiasat launches Rainbow Internet access

JAKARTA (JP): The Hong Kong-based Pan Asiasat Media Ltd marked its debut in the Indonesian Internet industry on Tuesday with the launching of "Rainbow", a service that offers Internet users high-speed Internet access via satellite connection.

The company said it had invested a total of US$50 million in Indonesia to develop its business in information technology and telecommunication here.

"Indonesia is a potential market with Internet users reaching 890,000 in 1999 and with an estimated 2.4 million users by 2004," Pan Asiasat chairman Patrick D Cheung said in a press statement.

As its market, the company targets, among others, hotels, apartments, shopping and office centers, Internet cafes, commercial buildings and real estates.

Pan Asiasat said it planned to win 20,000 customers in its first year of operation.

"It's the first company in Indonesia that is offering an integrated satellite communication...which would help end-users (customers) get fast and comprehensive service under a competitive price," Pan Asiasat said.

The company said it is offering an integrated satellite connection that could bypass existing telephone lines to access the Internet.

While current telephone-based Internet connection limits users to a bandwidth of 56 kilobytes per second (Kbps), "Rainbow" can boost access speed to up to 6 megabytes per second (Mbps), according to the company.

"Bad infrastructure can create a bottleneck, which would slow down Internet access," Pan Asiasat's technical director Itjuk Tjugiarto said.

The high-speed Internet access is called broadband Internet access and is useful for downloading large multimedia files like music, video and graphics.

Pan Asiasat said it was using the Telkom-1 satellite of the state telecommunication firm PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia to cover the Indonesian area.

Aside from Pan Asiasat, earlier this year giant business group Lippo also launched its broadband Internet access service under Kabelvision. But instead of using satellite connection, Kabelvision uses fiber-optic cable connection.

Both companies charge customers a monthly flat rate of approximately $50 for 24-hour a day access.

Pan Asiasat is also offering other services such as developing e-commerce applications, web hosting and a portal for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) enabled cellular phones.(bkm)