The Indian government advised people against subscribing to Starlink Internet Services, a division of billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company, as it does not have a license to operate in the country.
A government statement issued on Friday said Starlink had been told to comply with regulations and refrain from booking / rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect, Reuters reported.
Starlink registered its business in India on Nov.1. It has begun advertising, and according to the government, it has started pre-selling its service.
Responding to a Reuters email, Starlink said: “No comment for now”.
A growing number of companies are launching small satellites as part of a low-Earth orbiting network to provide low-latency broadband internet services around the world, with a particular focus on remote areas that terrestrial internet infrastructure struggles to reach.
Sanjay Bhargava is country director for Starlink in India.
Competitors of Starlink include Amazon.com’s Kuiper and OneWeb which is co-owned by the British government and India’s Bharti Enterprises.
Starlink India plans to carry on the business of telecommunication services including satellite broadband internet services, content storage and streaming, multi-media communication, among others, according to the company filing.
It will deal in devices such as satellite phones, network equipment, wired and wireless communication devices, as well as data transmission and reception equipment.
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.
Starlink will give 100 devices for free to schools in Delhi and nearby rural districts in the first phase. It will then target 12 rural districts across India.
The company 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.