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DoT asks Elon Musk’s Starlink to stop bookings, says ‘not a licencee’

In a press release late on Friday, the DoT said that Starlink Internet Services, a division of SpaceX, was not “licensed to offer satellite-based internet services in India being advertised to the public”.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: November 27, 2021 10:09:15 am
Elon Musk, DoT, Telecommunications, Starlink Internet Services, economy news, indian express newsEarlier this month, Starlink had registered its business in India under a 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reprimanded Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Services for pre-selling and booking of the satellite based internet services without having obtained the necessary licences in the country, and asked it to “refrain from booking/rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect”.

In a press release late on Friday, the DoT said that Starlink Internet Services, a division of SpaceX, was not “licensed to offer satellite-based internet services in India being advertised to the public”.

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

Starlink did not respond to queries seeking its response on the DoT press release which asked the company to refrain from offering pre-sale booking for satellite-based internet services. While the option to book satellite-based internet service was available for users in India up until a few days ago, the company’s website did not show the option at the time of the story being written.

Earlier this month, Starlink had registered its business in India under a 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited. The SpaceX divison, had, in a presentation said that it aims to have 200,000 Starlink devices in India by December 2022, 80% of which will be in rural districts. As per the presentation, it had received more than 5,000 pre-orders for its services in India.

The Indian Express had earlier this year in June reported that the DoT had till then received “no communication” regarding satellite internet broadband from Amazon, Bharti group backed-OneWeb or Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

SpaceX founder Musk had in September, in a tweet, said that the Starlink internet service would soon complete its set-up and start offering commercial internet services to users as early as 2022.

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