Elon Musk to offer 200k Broadband connections in India to boost rural connectivity
India -Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellite broadband arm Starlink intends to offer broadband services in India, starting from December 2022. The company is currently awaiting government approval for two lakh active terminals.
Starlink Country Director for India Sanjay Bhargava said that the company has already received 5,000 pre-orders in India, and the company is keen to work in rural areas for providing broadband services. Actual numbers may be much lower than that or even zero if they do not get government approval but it is very unlikely that they will exceed 2,00,000,
Starlink is charging a deposit of $99 or INR 7,350 for customers to be part of a priority list. The pre-order deposit will be adjusted against monthly fee once the service is activated. People can also take a refund but they will lose their priority status.
It claims to deliver data speeds in the range of 50 to 150 megabits per second in the beta stage. The company will compete against Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea in the broadband segment and will be a direct competitor to Bharti Group-backed OneWeb.
Bhargava added that they look forward to the day a rural constituency in India can declare itself to be 100 percent broadband. Politicians and bureaucrats interested in working with Starlink and other broadband providers are welcome to contact him.
In a pre-order note, Starlink said that its service is available in many countries and it will be easier for it to get government approvals if it has a high number of pre-orders from India.
The government approval process is complex. So far there is no application pending with the government, so the ball is in their court to apply for consideration which they are working on. Their approach will be to get pilot approval quickly if pan India approval will take long.