During one of his informal tweeting sessions in September this year, Elon Musk was asked if he ever planned to launch SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Services in India. His response back then was that he was trying to figure out the regulatory and approval processes that he would have to comply with to launch the service in the country. Now, it seems that Musk and his team are all set to seek the necessary permits to launch their Starlink Satellite Services in India.
For those unaware of what exactly SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Services are, they are an internet service that SpaceX started. Starlink uses a constellation of satellites to provide Internet connectivity with lower latency.
One benefit of Starlink or any satellite-based ISP is that if fiber or ADSL-based services get disrupted, satellite-based ISP rarely gets disrupted. Moreover, satellite-based ISPs can be used to bring high-speed internet connectivity to areas where it is tough to lay fiber-optic or ADSL lines. Satellite internet service providers need just a tiny, portable receiver that has to be set up on the ground to access high-speed internet.
That is why, after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian government requested Musk to help them with internet connectivity. Musk’s deployment of Starlink’s services in Ukraine immediately after Russia’s invasion was crucial for the Ukrainians in mounting a defense.
The first two satellites were launched in February 2018. Currently, the service is available in 14 locations, including Australia, Chile, the UK, and the US, among several others countries.
As per the latest report, Musk’s SpaceX team is seeking the necessary permits from the Indian government to launch satellite internet services in the country. SpaceX is the third company that applied for the license for satellite internet services.
Bharti Group-backed OneWeb and Jio’s satellite service arm have already applied for a permit from the Department of Telecommunications. SpaceX will soon use a Global Mobile Personal Communications By Satellite or GMPCS services license. The company will also likely apply for permission for local gateways from the Department of Telecommunications.