Elon Musk-backed Starlink stopped taking pre-orders in India after the Department of Telecommunications had warned that the company has not acquired licenses to provide the services in the country.
The company did not announce the move exclusively but is not accepting any pre-orders through its website, which were made available for users in February earlier this year. The company had noted that there were already over 5000 pre-orders for the service in India as of October 1.
Earlier, the website accepted pre-orders for satellite broadband connection service for a refundable deposit of $99.Now a notification on the website reads, “Starlink is not yet available in your area, but as we launch more satellites, we continue to expand our coverage area. Please check back for future availability in your area.
Last week, the Ministry of communication pointed out that ‘Starlink Internet Services’ is not licensed to offer satellite-based internet services in India being advertised to the public; it also highlighted that Starlink had 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 users in Indian territory can book satellite-based internet services, it added.
SpaceX’s Starlink unit registered its business in India in November as it is known that Elon Musk’s Starlink is one of a growing number of companies launching small satellites as part of a low-Earth orbiting network.
In India, Starlink plans to “carry on the business of telecommunication services,” including satellite broadband internet services, content storage, and streaming, multi-media communication. Also, it will deal in devices such as satellite phones, network equipment, wired and wireless communication devices, and data transmission and reception equipment.
In the first phase, Starlink plans to give 100 devices to schools in Delhi and nearby rural districts. It will then target 12 rural districts across India, Once it provides services.
The company aims to have 200,000 Starlink devices in India by December 2022, 80 percent of which will be in rural districts, and it’s already received over 5,000 pre-orders for its devices in India.