India warns not to avoid Musk-backed Starlink until it gets license

Starlink Internet Services is a division of billionaire and CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company. In a stern action, the government issued an advisory asking citizens not to subscribe to Elon Musk’s satellite broadband service in India. The Department of Telecommunications asked people not to choose Starlink till it gets a license in the country.   

The government said in a statement late on November 26 that it had asked Starlink to comply with the restrictions and to “refrain from booking/rendering satellite internet services in India with immediate effect”. In the official statement, it said that SpaceX’s satellite broadband arm Starlink Internet Services is not licensed in India to offer satellite-based internet services in India, and the provision of such services in the country is prohibited.

The Department of Telecom also observed that it is also evident from Starlink’s website, which says internet services can be booked by users in India.  On November 1, Starlink registered its business in India. It began to advertise and, according to the government, began to sell its service in advance thereafter.

It is hereby informed to the public at large that the said company has not obtained any license/authorization for rendering satellite-based internet services that are being booked on their website,” the statement said. 

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Starlink has not responded to the queries when asked by the media. However, Starlink India director Sanjay Bhargava said last month announced on LinkedIn that the company has successfully registered its India subsidiary —Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited. “Pleased to share that SpaceX now has a 100% owned subsidiary in India.” The company plans to roll out services across 200,000 active terminals in more than 160,000 districts by 2022.