A week after the communications Minister interrupted Elon Musk owned Starlink to stop taking pre-booking in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) asked Starlink not to collect any fees without necessary authorizations. Also Read - Indian states invite Elon Musk to set up Tesla factory, but is it feasible?
TRAI said in its statement, “Starlink Internet Services is required to desist from soliciting telecom business and collecting related fees…etc., without having received necessary authorizations and adhering to relevant statutory provisions.” Also Read - Tesla is in a 'weird stalemate situation' with the Indian govt: Report
The authority further added, “soliciting of business for the provision of broadband service has to be in accordance with extant statutory provisions related to telecom services.” Also Read - Karnataka minister invites Elon Musk to set up Tesla plant in Bengaluru
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DoT prohibit Starlink pre-booking
To recall, The DoT asked Starlink to make sure it complies with the regulatory framework for offering its communication and broadband services in India. Additionally, the DoT asked the etch giant to prohibit booking satellite internet services or providing services in India “with immediate effect.”
TRAI’s order also comes days after when Sanjay Bhargava, the Country Director of Starlink, mentioned the job opening on LinkedIn. The company planned to hire for two positions, including Director of Rural Transformation and Executive Assistant.
Prior to the recent orders from TRAI, Starlink started the pre-orders in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Tadepalligudem (Andhra Pradesh), and Indore (Madhya Pradesh). The company was also charging $99, or Rs 7,200, at the time of pre-ordering. After activation, the Starlink kit involved Starlink, a Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables, and mounting tripod.
The company is kept on facing several roadblocks in bringing satellite internets services in India. As per the details available on the Department of Telecommunication (DOT) website, Starlink is not registered in India but in Tax Haven, Ireland.
Earlier, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) directed SpaceX to obtain the necessary licenses before offering any service. But the company failed to do so. Back in March 2021, the tech giant faced a challenge from Broadband India Forum, which looks after the country’s high-quality broadband.