Elon Musk-backed Starlink broadband stopped taking pre-orders in India earlier this month due to government regulations that cited the absence of a license. The company head for India, Sanjay Bhargava, has now noted that Starlink aims to apply for a commercial license by January 31, 2022. Starlink has also prepared two guides — one for individuals and the private sector and one for state and union territories. “For a lot of users, Starlink makes sense.
Our goal is to provide context for how Starlink could be a great fit for connectivity in numerous situations. A 100% Broadband India will require collaboration across stakeholders, service providers, and technologies, and we encourage everyone to think about their use cases and develop connectivity plans for districts as well as private use,” Bhargava noted in a LinkedIn post. Talking about Starlink’s arrival in India, Bhargava noted that it is not certain when the service would roll out in India but reports speculate that the space broadband service will start rolling out in India by 2022. “There are currently unknowns on when you may get your Starlink but please pay careful consideration to whether Starlink could just be the broadband solution you need,” Bhargava noted.
Under the Timelines section of the guide shared by Bhargava, the company notes that Starlink is not yet licensed in India. It noted that if Starlink can commence rollout in April 2022, it aims to have 200K terminals in India by December 2022 but it is unknown when users will get the delivery of their Starlink equipment. Further commercial license applications are likely to be filed by January 31, 2022. Further, Starlink is likely to cost users in India over Rs 1.5 lakh in India in the first year. Bhargava shared the cost and benefit analysis in the Linked post.
The base price of the equipment is $499 which comes around Rs 37,400. Adding to this will be the monthly service cost which will cost users $99 which is approximately Rs 7425 taking the total to Rs 45,000. The annual service will cost Rs 1,15,000. Previously, Bhargava had noted that the government process is complex but that the company was optimistic for government approval for a pilot program and then a pan India approval.
Until now, Starlink was taking pre-orders for satellite broadband connection service for a refundable deposit of $99. Starlink had announced its plans to offer satellite broadband services in India starting December 2022. The website now 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.” Earlier this week, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) warned Starlink to get the necessary permission that is required to offer satellite-based internet services in the country. The DoT in a press release said that in order to provide satellite-based services in India, requisite license(s) from the Government of India is required. India Today