India to ask SpaceX to seek permit for offering satellite Internet service

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The authorities will ask Elon Musk-led SpaceX Technologies to apply for related permits underneath India’s telecom guidelines earlier than offering its Starlink satellite web providers within the nation, a senior official stated.

The telecommunications division is about to write to SpaceX, nudging the corporate to share particulars of its India plans to decide if it requires each web service supplier (ISP) and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) service authorisations underneath unified licence (UL) laws or only one to provide high-speed satellite web providers within the nation.

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DoT has no objections to SpaceX offering the Starlink satellite internet service in India, but it must comply with the laws of the land and seek an appropriate licence and other authorisations before offering the service to Indian consumers,” the federal government official informed ET.

SpaceX, which is able to compete within the world satcom house with Jeff Bezos-led Amazon‘s Project Kuiper and Bharti-backed OneWeb, has began accepting pre-orders for beta model of its Starlink satellite web service in India for a totally refundable deposit of $99 (above Rs 7,000).

According to its web site, the corporate expects to begin offering web connectivity to Indian customers in 2022 by way of a maze of satellites it should launch into orbit.

DoT is probably going to additionally seek readability from SpaceX on the particular nature of providers it desires to provide in India, the spectrum bands it proposes to use, and the international satellite capability it should faucet to ship high-speed web providers.

DoT can also be seemingly to seek views from the Department of Space (DoS) on whether or not SpaceX wants to apply to the Indian National Space Promotion & Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to safe touchdown rights to use alerts of international satellites in India for satellite web providers.

IN-SPACe is a just lately shaped central regulatory physique inside DoS mandated to appeal to personal capital into the house sector and create a degree taking part in discipline for personal sector firms.

All this after an business physique, representing a few of SpaceX’s world rivals together with Bharti-backed OneWeb, Amazon and Hughes final month requested the federal government to cease SpaceX from pre-selling the Starlink beta providers to Indian shoppers on grounds that the latter didn’t have an acceptable licence or authorisation.

Meanwhile, a disagreement has erupted on the worldwide stage over the reported close to collision of Starlink and OneWeb satellites. SpaceX has reportedly accused OneWeb of spreading false tales that the businesses’ satellites almost crashed into one another just lately.

OneWeb although has reportedly stood by its feedback “as reported to the press”.

SpaceX and OneWeb didn’t reply to ET’s queries as of press time Thursday. Queries to DoT additionally remained unanswered.

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