Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet business is putting a pause in India.
Order of the Indian Government to Starlink
Starlink satellite internet business informed its subscribers that the Indian government has requested that all pre-orders be refunded until the company receives licenses to operate in the nation. Reuters reported that in an email to one of its clients, Starlink said that they can receive a refund at any time.
Starlink, a part of Musk's SpaceX aerospace company, has received over 5,000 pre-orders for its Starlink Satellite devices in India. However, it is still waiting for commercial licenses, without which it will be unable to provide services in the nation in the meantime.
Starlink Satellite Licensing
In the email sent to the customers who preordered, Starlink stated that the timeline for receiving licenses to operate is currently unknown, and there are several issues that must be resolved with the licensing framework to allow the company to operate Starlink in India.
The company also expressed that the Starlink team is looking forward to making Starlink available in India as soon as possible.
Elon Musk's Starlink India
The Indian government issued a public statement in late November telling the firm, which competes with Bharti Group-backed OneWeb and Amazon's Kuiper, that it must adhere to the restrictions and stop soliciting preorders "with immediate effect."
According to Aljazeera, India is a huge prospective market for Starlink, which has sold over 100,000 terminals to customers. Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink's India head, claimed last year that by the end of December 2022, the business planned to deploy over 200,000 active terminals in over 160,000 districts across India.
Sanjay Bhargava stated that Starlink strives to help those who are underserved. In addition, he said that Starlink intends to cooperate with fellow broadband providers and solution providers in aspirational districts to improve and save lives.
The Indian government, on the other hand, has encouraged customers not to subscribe to Starlink without a license and has ordered the company to stop taking bookings and providing services.
Starlink's Purpose in India
Bhargava, Starlink's national head, stated in a social media post last month that the company planned to seek a commercial license in India by the end of January, and a presentation revealed that with an April deployment, the company aimed to reach 200,000 devices in India by December 2022.
However, he said on Tuesday that he had stepped down as country director and board chairman due to "personal reasons" as stated in a LinkedIn post. According to his LinkedIn profile, he began working in the position in October.
Starlink intended to conduct the business of telecommunication services in India, which would include satellite broadband internet services, content storage, and streaming, and multimedia communication, among many other things. It also aimed to deal with satellite phones, network equipment, wired and wireless communication devices, and data transmission and receiving equipment, among other things.
According to a company presentation released by Bhargava on LinkedIn over the weekend, the company will focus on "catalyzing rural development" in India with its broadband services.
The company had planned to deliver 100 free devices to schools in Delhi and neighboring rural regions in the first phase after being granted permission to provide services, and then to target 12 rural districts across India in the second phase, as reported in TechCrunch.