- Starlink’s website for pre-orders, which says the service is completely refundable, is still functioning for Indian users.
- DoT will write to SpaceX seeking details for its plans in India and apply for the required licenses.
- The services in the US are already live and in the beta testing phase and Musk has noted that the beta testing phase will end this summer.
Ever since Elon-Musk backed company Space X opened Starlink for pre-orders in India, there has been a lot of speculation if the broadband plans, currently in the beta testing phase will materialise in the country. Despite facing regulatory hurdles, Starlink's website for pre orders, which will be completely refundable, is still functioning for Indian users, while some reports have noted that the broadband services will start their operations in India next year after the company gets required licenses for the same.
In India, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is directing Musk's company SpaceX to acquire the required licenses before offering any service in the country. DoT will write to SpaceX seeking details for its plans in India, and to understand if the company requires internet service provider (ISP) and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) service authorisations, or if it requires one license to offer high-speed satellite internet services here, ET Telecom first reported.
"DoT has no objections to SpaceX offering the Starlink satellite internet service in India. But it must comply with the laws of the land and seek an appropriate license and other authorisations before offering the service to Indian consumers," a source told the publication.
Meanwhile, the services in the US are already live and in the beta testing phase, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has noted that Starlink will also become mobile at the end of this year. "Yeah, should be fully mobile later this year, so you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck in motion. We need a few more satellite launches to achieve complete coverage & some key software upgrades," Musk recently noted in reply to a tweet. This is in contrast to Starlink's current requirement which requires the satellite to be in one place or a "designated area".
Starlink, in one of its FAQs, notes that the Starlink satellites are scheduled to send the internet down to all users within a designated area or a cell on the ground. If users move the Starlink outside of its assigned cell, they may not receive internet. However, the current tweet from Musk shows that the service may upgrade as it developed. Musk has also noted that Starlink will be "probably out of beta this summer." He also said that Starlink will give up to 300 Mbps speed in the future.
Earlier this year, SpaceX Director of Satellite policy David Goldman told CNBC that a class of new ground-based components for SpaceX's satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities available to moving vehicles throughout the US and to moving vessels and aircraft worldwide. "Not connecting Tesla cars to Starlink, as our terminal is much too big. This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & Rvs," he said in a tweet.