Elon Musk ready to launch Internet service in India
.Setting up a local office will enable Starlink to apply for the licenses needed to provide broadband in the country.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the founder of SpaceX, which also has a satellite Internet division. It aims to have 200,000 Starlink devices in India by December 2022, 80% of which are in rural areas. Starlink, the satellite Internet arm of SpaceX, billionaire Elon Musk's rocket company, registered operations in India on Monday. The company is preparing to launch an Internet service in India, according to its government filings.
Owning a local subsidiary, Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited, will enable the company to apply to the government for the licenses it needs before it can offer broadband and other satellite-based Communications services.
"We are pleased to share that SpaceX now has a 100 percent owned subsidiary in India," Sanjay Bhargava, the country director for Starlink in India, said in a LinkedIn post. "We can now start applying for permits, opening bank accounts, and so on," Mr. Bhargava said. He only joined the company in October, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Starlink is one of a growing number of companies launching small satellites. These satellites are part of a network in low Earth orbit that provides low-latency broadband Internet services around the world, with a particular focus on remote areas where ground-based Internet infrastructure is difficult to reach. Its competitors include Amazon's Project Kuiper, UK'S OneWeb, and India's Bharti Enterprises.
Starlink plans to "develop telecommunications services" in India. These plans include satellite broadband Internet services, content storage, and streaming, multimedia communications, and more, according to the company's filing. The company will also operate satellite phones, networking equipment, wired and wireless communications equipment, and data transmission and reception equipment.
Starlink also said it would "catalyze rural Indian development" with its broadband service, according to a company profile Bhargava shared on LinkedIn over the weekend. Once allowed to offer the service, Starlink will give away 100 free devices to schools in Delhi and nearby rural areas in the first phase. It will then target 12 rural areas in India.
In its presentation, the company said it aims to have 200,000 Starlink devices in India by December 2022, 80% of which will be located in rural areas. Starlink has received more than 5,000 pre-orders in India.