Starlink, a satellite internet service provider founded by Elon Musk, will shortly begin offering Internet access in India. The startup, which is sponsored by Tesla, will apply for a commercial licence in India in order to deliver broadband internet services to the country’s residents.
The news comes only a few days after the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India issued a warning to Starlink, advising the company to get the appropriate permissions in order to provide satellite-based internet services in the nation.
In a LinkedIn post, Starlink Country Director, Sanjay Bhargava, discussed the company’s ambitions to roll out internet services in India, stating, “We aim to have applied for a commercial licence on or before January 31, 2022 (unless we hit some major roadblock). Our team determined that it would be beneficial to produce two guidelines to assist in thinking about and preparing for Starlink – one for individuals and the private sector, and another for states and union territories. We hope that these guides will be useful. The corporation will not be able to provide services in India until it obtains a licence to do so. Following the directives issued by the Department of Transportation, Starlink shut down its pre-booking facility, which had previously been open.”
By December 2022, Starlink hopes to have installed a total of 2,00,000 devices in India. Starlink expects to deploy 80 per cent of the devices in rural regions, with the remaining 20 per cent in urban areas. To achieve 100 per cent broadband coverage, Bhargava writes on Linkedin that coordination among stakeholders, service providers, and technology would be required.
Bhargava had previously revealed that SpaceX now has a 100 per cent owned subsidiary in India and that the company may begin seeking permits and opening bank accounts in the country. He also claimed that the firm has already received 5,000 pre-orders from customers in the country of origin.
However, it has been discovered that all of this cannot be handled at this time since the firm has not applied for a licence from the Indian government to conduct activities in the country. Customers who wanted to be on a priority list had to pay a $99 or $7,350 deposit to Starlink in order to be included. As soon as the services are engaged, the money due will be deducted from the monthly price due.
Bhargava has previously said that Starlink will collaborate with rural areas that are interested in having 100 per cent internet access. The firm intends to deliver the services via terrestrial broadband, but the company will rely on satellite communications providers such as Starlink to serve the most difficult-to-reach places.