Both the companies have approached the telecom ministry & department of space to provide satellite-based internet services
Two of the richest men in the world, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, are planning to launch their own internet services in India. As per some media reports, the two companies have approached the Telecom Ministry and the Department of Space of India to launch satellite-based internet services in India.
But on Friday, Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink Country Director India at SpaceX, informed on his LinkedIn page that the company is still trying to get government approval in India. SpaceX also urged people to preorder Starlink as if the numbers will be bigger, approval will be easier. "The government approval process is complex. So far there is no application pending with the government, so the ball is in our court to apply for consideration which we are working on. Our approach will be to get pilot approval quickly if Pan India approval will take longer. We are optimistic that we will get approval for a pilot program or Pan India approval in the next few months."
He further informed that the semiconductor shortage has affected the rate at which Starlink kits can be manufactured and the company is facing a shortage of liquid oxygen which is required for the rockets to put more Starlink satellites into space.
He also informed that Starlink will be working with the rural constituencies to provide 100% broadband service. "We will be working with rural constituencies who are keen to have 100% broadband. We look forward to the day a rural constituency in India can declare itself to be 100% broadband."
"Our dream is to have 100% broadband coverage starting with rural India. We will play a very small role in achieving this dream but we want to collaborate with all to make this dream a reality. There is enough of a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid for all providers so we have to focus on improving lives and expanding the market and not on fighting for a larger share of a small pie," added Bhargava.
The deposit for getting into the priority list of Starlink, right now, is INR 7350 but Bhargava is optimistic that the cost will come down as Starlink scales up.
Bhargava joins SpaceX as Starlink’s country director (India), effective October 1, 2021, as the Musk-led US aerospace company gears up to compete with Bharti group-backed OneWeb and others and launch fast satellite broadband services in India next year.
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