Starlink to apply for India permit by January 2022
Starlink, the satellite internet division of billionaire Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX, will apply early next year for a commercial licence in India to provide broadband and other services, its country head has said.
“We hope to have applied for a commercial licence on or before January 31, 2022 (unless we hit some major roadblock),” Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink country director, India at SpaceX, said in a LinkedIn post.
If the company can roll out its services by April, it aims to have 200,000 Starlink devices in India by December 2022, it said in a presentation posted by Bhargava. The company has previously said it expects 80 per cent 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 that terrestrial internet infrastructure struggles to reach.
Its competitors include Amazon.com’s Kuiper and OneWeb which is 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 begun any services.
Even so, 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 warned the company about taking bookings.