Elon Musk-owned Starlink not licensed to offer satellite-based Internet services: DoT

The government on Friday said that Elon Musk owned ‘Starlink Internet Services’ is not licensed to offer satellite-based Internet services in India, as it is being advertised to the public.

In a statement, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) pointed out that for rendering satellite-based services in India, requisite license(s) from DoT are required.

“It has come to notice that M/s Starlink has started pre-selling/ booking of the satellite-based Starlink Internet Services in India. The same is also evident from the website of Starlink (www.starlink.com) wherein satellite based Internet services can be booked by users in Indian territory,” it said

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

Accordingly, the government has 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.

“Given the fact that Starlink is not a licensee, the public is advised not to subscribe to Starlink services being advertised,” it added.

The US-based company in March this year had started a pre-booking of satellite broadband services and plans to launch the services based on low-earth orbit (LEO) constellation by early next year.

Industry body Broadband India Forum had also sought interventions from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in April to block SpaceX from pre-selling its Starlink satellite Internet services in India.

Sunil Bharti Mittal owned OneWeb is also investing a lot and preparing to launch LEO based services by mid next year.

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