Elon Musk’s Starlink to Apply for India Licence by End of January

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Starlink, the satellite internet division of billionaire Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX, will apply for a commercial license to provide broadband and other services in India early next year, its country head said on Friday.

“We hope to have applied for a commercial license on or before January 31, 2022 (unless we hit some major hurdle),” Sanjay Bhargava, starlink Country Director, India SpaceX Said in a LinkedIn post.

If the company can start its services by April, it aims to have 200,000 Starlink devices in India by December 2022, said a presentation posted by Bhargava. The company had earlier said that it expects 80 percent of these devices to be in rural areas.

Starlink is one of a growing number of companies launching small satellites as part of a low-Earth orbit network to provide low-latency broadband Internet services around the world, with a particular focus on remote areas like terrestrial Internet. Struggles to access infrastructure.

Its competitors include Amazon.com’s Kuiper and OneWeb which are co-owned by the British government and India’s Bharti Enterprises.

While Starlink has already received over 5,000 pre-orders for its devices in India, it has not launched any services.

Nevertheless, the Indian government last week advised people against subscribing to Starlink as it does not have a license to operate in the country. It also ordered the company to take bookings and refrain from providing services.

According to its website, Starlink has stopped taking pre-orders for its devices, citing “pending regulatory approval”.

Last month, the company registered a local entity, Starlink Satellite Communications Pvt Ltd, paving the way for commencement of business in the country.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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