The Indian government did not say the words in a recent message to Elon Musk’s Starlink: Get a license before offering satellite internet services in the country.
In a press release On Friday, India’s telecommunications department, which is part of the Ministry of Communications, asked Starlink to stop selling satellite internet services in the country “with immediate effect” until it gets the necessary licenses to do so. The department similarly advised the public not to buy Starlink internet – which can be pre-ordered for a $ 99 deposit from the SpaceX subsidiary’s website – because it is not a licensee.
All Starlink starter kit, which includes a stand, power supply and a wifi router, costs $ 499. In addition, users must also pay a monthly fee of $ 99.
“To render satellite-based services in India, the required license (s) are required from the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India. The public is hereby informed that the said company has not received any license / authorization to render satellite-based internet services booked on “The government has therefore asked the company to comply with Indian regulations to provide the satellite-based communications services and to refrain from ordering / rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect.”
Gizmodo approached SpaceX on Saturday to comment on the Indian government’s response to Starlink, but did not receive a response upon publication. We will make sure to update this blog if we hear back.
Starlink told Reuters that it had “no comment for now.”
ONE company presentation on catalyzing rural development shared by Starlink India director Sanjay Bhargava earlier this month and reported by Insider pointed out that it was still “in the process of getting approval to send Starlinks to India.” The presentation noted that the company’s stretch would have 200,000 Starlinks in the country by December 2022, of which 160,000 would be in rural districts.
Although it seems that Starlink did not try to hide this information, it probably did not expect the government to be so strict, and that is probably why it gladly continued to take advance orders. However, you can understand the government’s response in this case. It’s not telling Starlink not to sell, it’s just telling it to follow the rules before it does. Besides, we live in covid times. It is not guaranteed that approvals from the authorities go through.