Musk sets up to launch internet services, Starlink in India
By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Tuesday, 02 November 2021
Starlink, the satellite internet division of billionaire Elon Musk’s rocket firm SpaceX, registered its business in India on Monday, company documents filed with the government showed, as it gears up to launch internet services in the country.
Having a local unit, Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited, will permit the firm to apply for licences that it needs from the government before it can provide broadband and other satellite-based communication services.
“Pleased to share that SpaceX now has a 100 percent owned subsidiary in India,” country director for Starlink in India, Sanjay Bhargava, stated in a LinkedIn post.
“We can now start applying for licenses, open bank accounts, etc,” said Bhargava, who as per his LinkedIn profile joined the company only in
Starlink is one of a growing number of companies launching small satellites as part of a low-Earth orbiting network to provide low-latency broadband internet services around the world, with a particular effort on remote areas that terrestrial internet infrastructure struggles to reach.Its competitors consist of Amazon.com’s Project Kuiper and OneWeb, which is co-owned by the British government and India’s Bharti Enterprises.
In India, Starlink plans to “carry on the business of telecommunication services” consisting of satellite broadband internet services, content storage and streaming, multimedia communication, among others, according to the company filing.
It will also deal in devices such as satellite phones, network equipment, wired and wireless communication devices, as well as data transmission and reception equipment, it said.
Starlink separately said it will focus on “catalyzing rural development” in India through its broadband services, according to a company presentation shared by Bhargava on LinkedIn over the weekend.
Once it is permitted to provide services, Starlink will, in the first phase, give 100 devices for free to schools in Delhi and nearby rural districts. It will then target 12 rural districts across India.
The firm aims to have 200,000 Starlink devices in India by December 2022, 80 percent of which will be in rural districts, it said in the presentation. Starlink has already received over 5,000 pre-orders for its devices in India.