It was reported here earlier about the hurdles Starlink is facing before even stepping into the Indian market.
Starlink is SpaceX’s satellite internet project which seeks to provide high speed and low latency internet via satellites deployed on Falcon rockets.
Know The Basics
Low latency is an important metric which determines the ease of using services such as video calls and gaming.
Satellite internet is a useful alternative to serve areas and communities around the world where people are still in the dark ages with regards to internet connectivity and speeds.
Instead of worrying about the logistics of setting up broadband or fiber optic in areas which may not be necessarily conducive to either, satellite internet is a practical service which utilises satellites deployed above the earth, essentially covering the entire planet.
Starlink is currently available on a limited basis and is taking pre orders from customers around the world on its website.
Customers can reserve their place for $ 99 or Rs 7300 which includes a satellite dish, a tripod and a Wi-Fi router.
Upon entering an Indian address for pre registration, the displayed message states that Starlink would be arriving in India in 2022, without any certain date.
A few thousands of users are already enjoying the service in the US, UK and Canada.
The India Problem
In India, Broadband India Forum (BIF) President TV Ramachandran wrote to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) complaining about alleged violations committed by Starlink which should prohibit it from offering its services in a commercial capacity.
According to the letter, Starlink does not have earth or ground stations in India.
It also does not have authorisation from ISRO and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) with regards to satellite frequency.
These are the mandatory requirements Starlink has to follow if it wants to compete in the Indian market.
BIF has “urged” TRAI to urgently intervene as it sees Starlink as an immediate threat antithetical to the tenets of “fair competition”.
Starlink might still have a chance yet if it completes the formalities and requirements it has been accused of not adhering to in time.
It needs to thoroughly do its research on all the specifics and intricacies before entering a market and opportunity as gigantic and complicated as the one India offers.
In case Starlink ends up evading India, those already having paid up $ 99 can opt for a refund.