Starlink satellite broadband service could soon launch in India, hints Elon Musk

By – Arun Shekhar Jawla

“The company is waiting for regulatory approvals,” said Elon Musk [CEO, Space X]

On Sep. 01, When Musk was asked about Starlink service launching in India, he replied saying that he was waiting for the regulatory approval. This statement implied that Starlink internet services might very soon launch in India. Before any such services can be offered, the company needs to acquire the required licenses as per the instructions of The Department of Telecommunications (DoT). 

“Dear Elon you when are launching Starlink services in India ..? When such question was asked by the Twitter handle ‘Tryonset’, he replied saying, “we are….just figuring out the regulatory approval process”.

What are Starlink Internet Services?

Starlink is a satellite internet company developed by SpaceX as a revenue-generating business to fund SpaceX’s plans to colonize Mars. Starlink satellites are in low-Earth orbit, which is much closer than satellite providers generally use. This could enable Starlink to deliver lower latency than you can usually get with satellite service. 

  • As of July 29, 2021, Starlink has launched 1,740 satellites into low-Earth orbit and has over 10,000 active customers. 

In India, DoT has directed SpaceX to acquire the required licenses before offering any service in the country. “DoT has no objections to SpaceX offering the Starlink satellite internet service in India. But it must comply with the laws of the land and seek an appropriate license and other authorizations before offering the service to Indian consumers,” a source had earlier told ET Telecom.

  • Starlink offers beta services in 14 countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe.
  • SpaceX’s goal is to launch around 42,000 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit by mid-2027.
  • The speeds vary from 50Mbps to 150Mbps in beta and there is no download speed. It has also claimed latency of 20 ms to 40 ms.

In May, Musk said the low-Earth orbiting satellite network had received more than 500,000 preorders for its internet service and anticipates no technical problems meeting demand.  Users can book a Starlink connection for a refundable deposit of $99.