Govt. says Elon Musk’s Starlink is unlicensed; request to refrain from booking satellite internet services

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DoT statement deals a blow to Starlink, the satellite broadband arm of billionaire Elon Musk, led by SpaceX, which has been optimistic about its market plans in India and had started taking pre-bookings for services broadband satellite.

The government said on Friday that Starlink Internet Services was not licensed to offer satellite Internet services in India and advised the public not to subscribe to services advertised by the company backed by Elon Musk without a license required in the country. .

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has also requested Starlink to comply with the regulatory framework for offering satellite communication services and to refrain from reserving / rendering satellite internet services in India “with immediate effect”.

The DoT made it clear that the company should “obtain a license before offering satellite services.”

The department, in a statement, said it noticed Starlink has started pre-selling / booking Starlink satellite internet services in India.

The same is also evident on Starlink’s website where satellite internet services can be booked by users in Indian Territory, the DoT noted.

“The Ministry of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India has stressed that ‘Starlink Internet Services’ is not authorized to offer satellite Internet services in India which are advertised to the public,” the statement said.

Providing satellite services in India requires a license from the government.

“It is hereby informed to the general public that said company has not obtained any license / authorization to provide reserved satellite internet services on its website,” he said.

Since Starlink is not a licensee, “the public are advised not to subscribe to the Starlink services being advertised,” he added.

DoT statement deals a blow to Starlink, the satellite broadband arm of billionaire Elon Musk, led by SpaceX, which has been optimistic about its market plans in India and had started taking pre-bookings for services broadband satellite.

The company aims to launch broadband service in India from December 2022, with 2 lakhs of active terminals, subject to government clearance.

Starlink’s Country Manager for India, Sanjay Bhargava, in an earlier post on social media, said India’s pre-order had exceeded 5,000 and the company wanted to work in rural areas to provide services to broadband.

The company’s services will compete with those of Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea in broadband and will be a direct competitor of OneWeb, backed by the Bharti group.


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