A few days ago, the Indian government has instructed citizens not to subscribe to the “StarLink” satellite Internet service. It belongs to SpaceX owned by Elon Musk. The Indian government stated that SpaceX needs to obtain a license to operate in India before it can begin to deploy its services.
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India’s Department of Telecommunications (DOT) issued a statement on Friday that SpaceX has been required to comply with India’s regulatory framework for the provision of satellite communications services and not to “book or provide satellite Internet services in India”. In other words, SpaceX will have to suspend Starlink service bookings until approval by the Indian government.
It is noticed that M/s #Starlink (https://t.co/xscnDS4Cnn) has started pre-selling/booking of #satellite based #Internet Services in India without any #license/authorization.
Public is advised not to subscribe to Starlink services being advertised. #GatiShakti #spacex @SpaceX
— DoT India (@DoT_India) November 26, 2021
Starlink Internet services were censored by the Indian government in April. At that time, the Indian Ministry of Telecommunications began investigating whether the Starlink beta violated the country’s telecommunications laws. While the Broadband India Forum (BIF), an industry organization representing large technology companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Meta, promoted the Ministry of Telecommunications of India to stop pre-sales of Starlink equipment without a license, the Indian government has taken similar measures.
However, SpaceX has already registered Starlink business in India on November 1. The company has started advertising pre-sales of its services and has received more than 5,000 orders in India. There is no news whether customers have to cancel their orders or whether customers need to wait longer. SpaceX plans to deploy 200,000 Starlink Internet user terminal devices in India by 2022, 80% of which are located in rural areas.
In a reply via email, SpaceX said: “No comment for the time being.”
StarLink Is Not The Only Option
More and more companies are launching micro-satellites and building so-called low-Earth orbit satellite Internet to provide low-latency broadband services around the world. They all pay special attention to remote areas that are difficult to reach by terrestrial Internet infrastructure. SpaceX’s services will compete with local Indian companies Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea in the broadband field. Moreover, it will become a direct competitor to OneWeb supported by the Bharti Group.
Starlink currently has approximately 140,000 beta users in 20 different countries. Musk predicts that Starlink users will exceed 500,000 next year.
By the way, in October this year, SpaceX reached an agreement with the company’s new and existing investors to sell up to $755 million in stock from insiders at a price of $560 per share. In effect, the company could increase its valuation to $100.3 billion.