Elon Musk’s Starlink is reportedly looking to launch its satellite-based internet services in India soon. While the company has not officially revealed a launch date for its services in India, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Communications have revealed that Starlink Internet Services is not licensed to offer satellite-based internet services in India. Also Read - Panasonic plans to mass produce next-gen batteries for Tesla in 2023, suggests report
The ministry via a press release has stated that it has noticed that Starlink has started pre-selling/ booking the satellite-based Starlink Internet Services in India. It further adds that for rendering satellite-based services in India, requisite license(s) from the Department of Telecommunications is required, and that Starlink has not obtained any license/authorisation for rendering satellite-based internet services. Also Read - Indian states invite Elon Musk to set up Tesla factory, but is it feasible?
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The government of India has reached out to the company and asked it to comply with the Indian regulatory framework for rendering satellite-based communication services. It has also requested them to refrain from booking/rendering the satellite Internet services in India with immediate effect.
Earlier reports have suggested that the Starlink satellite internet network will be made available in India next year, and the company is currently in the process of approval from the regulator. Apart from this, the pre-booking for the connection is still live on Starlink’s official website. Users can simply type in their address and pay a pre-booking fee of $99 (approximately Rs 7,200). The pre-booking fee is completely refundable.
Once Starlink launches, it will compete against major Indian telecom service providers, and broadband service providers like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel to name a few.
To recall, SpaceX recently opened two job role positions in India for its Starlink. Sanjay Bhargava, the Country Director of the company said that they are looking for two people to join the Indian Subsidiary. He did add that more positions will open up in the future, however, he added that the positions will open after the company is commercially licensed.