Starlink is reportedly in dialogue with Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India seeking to apply a GMPCS licence to offer satellite-based communication services in India.
Backgrounder. In Nov 2021, DoT had pointed out that ‘Starlink Internet Services’ is not licensed to offer satellite-based services.
Starlink had started pre-selling/booking of the satellite based Starlink Internet Services in India. The company’s website, www.starlink.com had also offered that satellite based internet services can be booked by users in Indian territory.
For rendering satellite based services in India, a requisite license from Department of Telecommunications, Government of India are required. DoT had then informed to the public at large that Starlink has not obtained any license/authorization for rendering satellite based internet services that are being booked on their website, and given the public was advised not to subscribe to Starlink services being advertised.
And, the Government had asked the company to comply with the Indian regulatory framework for rendering the satellite based communication services and refrain from booking/rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect.
The company’s operations had received a setback, when on December 31, 2021, Starlink’s India head Sanjay Bhargava stepped down from the position of Country Director and Chairman of the Board of Starlink India. Bhargava who was appointed as the India Country Director for the SpaceX subsidiary in October led the organisation’s India operations for three months.