Starlink to begin broadband services in India
SpaceX’s satellite broadband arm has more than 5,000 pre-orders
Hyderabad Billionaire Elon Musk's Starlink is mulling to start broadband services in India from December 2022. The satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX has set a target to have 2 lakh active terminals by the end of next year, a senior company representative said on Friday.
The company's Country Director Sanjay Bhargava said in a LinkedIn post that the pre-orders from India have crossed 5,000 and it is willing to work with rural constituencies for providing broadband services.
"Our stretch target is to have 2 lakh terminals active in India in December 2022. Actual numbers maybe much lower than that or even zero if we do not get government approval but it is very unlikely that we will exceed 2 lakh." he added.
The satellite internet venture charges a deposit of $99 (around Rs 7,350) per user and says that the speed currently varies between 50 and 150 megabits per second (mbps) in beta stage. "Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis," the company informed.
The company further said that more pre-orders from India would make it effortless for government approval.
"The government approval process is complex. So far, there is no application pending with the government, so the ball is in our court to apply for consideration, which we are working on. Our approach will be to get pilot approval quickly if pan India approval will take long. We are optimistic that we will get approval for a pilot programme or pan India approval in the next few months," the satellite company added.
Starlink is yet to apply for a license through an official route and it has to strive among India's major Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea competitiveness.