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Elon Musk-backed Starlink broadband may launch globally by September, hints company president

Starlink president Gwynne Shotwell noted that the company has deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage.

(Picture: Starlink) (Picture: Starlink)
Story highlights
  • Starlink could be made available globally by September.
  • Starlink is available for pre-booking at $99 in India.
  • In India, DoT has directed Musk’s company SpaceX to acquire the required licenses before offering any service in the country.

Elon Musk's Starlink broadband will be available globally by September 2021, the company president Gwynne Shotwell said on Tuesday. Shotwell acknowledged that Starlink has unfinished regulatory work that the company needs to get approved to provide services in that country. Starlink, which is available for pre-orders in India for $99 is roughly above Rs 7000. Users can check the availability of the service by typing in their city and postal code.

"We've successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like September timeframe," Reuters quoted Shotwell who was speaking at a Macquarie Group technology conference via webcast. "But then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms services."

Starlink currently offers beta services in 11 countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. SpaceX's goal is to launch around 42,000 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit by mid-2027. In May, Musk said the low-Earth orbiting satellite network had received more than 500,000 preorders for its internet service and anticipates no technical problems meeting demand. Musk has previously noted that Starlink will be "probably out of beta this summer."

A report by CNBC noted the development citing Starlink which had noted that a $99 deposit is refundable. However, it does not guarantee service to these users. Reports note that once the service is rolled out worldwide, users can expect internet speeds of up to 209.17 megabits per second.

In India, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has directed Musk's company SpaceX to acquire the required licenses before offering any service in the country. "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 had earlier told ET Telecom.

Meanwhile, the services in the US are already live and in the beta testing phase and the US Federal Communications Commission has also approved SpaceX's plan to deploy some Starlink satellites at a lower earth orbit than planned to provide high-speed broadband Internet services to people who currently lack access.