Govt Asked To Ban Elon Musk’s Satellite Based Internet In India: These Firms Are Objecting
Even before a purported 2022 launch in India, Elon Musk’s satellite internet project called Starlink is already facing opposition.
Broadband India Forum (BIF) President TV Ramachandran has written to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to bar Starlink from entering the Indian market with pre-orders for the beta version.
BIF, which represents the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook has taken it up with the government to “urgently intervene to protect fair competition and adherence to existing policy and regulatory norms”.
The industry body has expressed apprehensions that Starlink apparently does not have permission from ISRO with respect to satellite frequency nor does it have earth or ground stations in India.
These are mandatory requirements Starlink has to adhere to if it wants to offer its services in India.
TRAI will be looking at the issue, according to a statement from a senior official.
Currently Starlink’s rivals in India which are competing to offer satellite internet include Amazon’s Project Kuiper and London-based OneWeb (also looking to launch in 2022).
OneWeb was rescued from bankruptcy by Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Group along with the British govt, both of which own a 42% stake each.
Mittal observed that the pandemic has led to infrastructure being overburdened due to huge demand for broadband.
He says that OneWeb will be the solution by servicing broadband demands in areas that are underserved with respect to internet access.
Kuiper Systems LLC, an Amazon subsidiary, describes Project Kuiper as an initiative which looks to provide satellite internet with low latency and high speeds to technologically challenged communities worldwide.
The $10 billion project led by Rajeev Badyal (President) is expecting a timeline of 10 years during which it plans to deploy 3,236 satellites.
But a commercial launch is not in the offing even after the satellite goal is achieved, however this may change in the future.