Starlink’s Satellite Services in India May Receive Approval

After facing delays over security concerns, Elon Musk’s satellite company Starlink is anticipated to receive approval from the telecom ministry to offer its services in India. A high-level meeting later this month is expected to review Starlink’s proposal for a global mobile personal communication by satellite (GMPCS) services license. Although certain last-minute hurdles cannot be ruled out, the meeting is likely to grant approval to the proposal.

Once Starlink obtains the GMPCS license, it will still need to secure additional approvals from various government entities and the department of space before it can commence order-taking and operations. Currently, OneWeb and Jio, backed by Sunil Mittal and Mukesh Ambani respectively, have already obtained the GMPCS license. However, ‘Project Kuiper’ by Jeff Bezos is still pending in India.

Starlink, a division of Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company, faced initial backlash in late 2021 when the telecom ministry reprimanded the company for accepting advance payments from subscribers without a license. At that time, the company had received more than 5,000 pre-orders for its devices in India and was instructed to refund those who had paid ($99 per person).

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