The Indian Government has told Elon Musk and SpaceX to stop offering their Starlink internet service in India until they have a license. The government body also advised the public not to subscribe to the service.
Starlink Internet Services, a satellite internet constellation launched in 2018, is one of the many technological exploits taken on by SpaceX CEO and billionaire Elon Musk. A satellite internet constellation—also referred to as a ‘satellite swarm’—refers to an interconnected system of satellites working together for a united goal. For Starlink, that goal is a fast, uninterrupted internet service.
The service, which houses over 1,500 satellites, aims to provide a low latency, high-speed internet connection to users anywhere across the globe. The beta program was sold at $99/month.
Starlink first registered itself as a business in India on November 1. However, the Indian Government has asked its people to refrain from “booking/rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect” due to insufficient licensing.
Starlink is now taking pre-orders, with over 5,000 being reported in India on its first day of business. However, it will need to hold very specific licenses with the country’s Department of Telecommunications to operate and offer its services.
“It’s hereby informed to the public at large that [Starlink] has not obtained any license/authorisation for rendering satellite-based internet services that are being booked on their website,” a representative of the government said.
Country Director for Starlink, Sanjay Bhargava, said the company plans to “start applying for licenses, open bank accounts etc”.
Regarding the Indian Government’s objections, Starlink told Reuters it had “no comment for now”.
Now taking pre-orders, Starlink Internet Services plans to begin offering its internet connections to India from December 2022.