New Delhi | Jagran Technology Desk: Union government late Friday advised people against subscribing to Starlink Internet Services, one of the divisions of billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company. The advisory came in the wake of Centre’s claim that Starlink Internet Services does not have a license yet to operate in India.
A government statement issued late on Friday said Starlink had been told to comply with regulations and asked people to refrain from "booking/rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect".

The government’s advisory means that Starlink will have to put preorders on hold until it can get approval from Department of Telecommunications.

What is Starlink all about?

Starlink provides satellite internet access to most of the Earth without requiring fibre optics or similar set-ups required for high-speed internet. According to a New York Times report, as of June 2021, Starlink Internet services are backed by a network of 1600 satellites in low Earth Orbit (LEO). These satellites communicate with the specifically designated ground transceivers and transmit signals to the users.

While the technical capabilities of satellite internet service covers most of the earth with little disturbance from factors such as geographical or topographic challenges, actual service can be delivered only in countries that have licensed SpaceX to provide service within their national jurisdiction.

Does SpaceX have license to operate Starlink in India?

Starlink has simply registered its business in India on November 1st. Since then it has already seen over 5,000 preorders in the country. However, Starlink is yet to obtain license to operate in India.

Reports in western media have claimed that Starlink plans to deploy 200,000 devices in India by 2022, with 80 percent located in rural areas where conventional high-speed internet connectivity has seen problems in expansion in recent years.

The Department of Telecommunications’ move asking Indians to stop subscribing to Starlink services comes as the Broadband India Forum (BIF), an independent policy forum that represents Big Tech companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, pushed the DoT to stop the presale of Starlink devices without a license.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma