Amazon is looking to obtain the GMPCS (Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite) license in India. But it isn't a simple process, especially for a company that is not based out of India. Currently, Eutelsat OneWeb and Jio Satellite Communications are the ones that have the GMPCS license to offer satellite internet in India. According to an ET report, the officials at the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) have asked Amazon for more info about its plans to set up satellite gateways in India, data storage and transfer and more.
The details are important to establish whether the data of the Indian customers is safe or not. The government doesn't want foreign companies to store the data of Indians at any foreign location. It should stay within India, and that is what Starlink has to comply with as well. The report said that if the government is satisfied with the responses from Amazon, only then it would proceed further with the application. Amazon has already applied for the GMPCS license. The company has also sought permissions from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe).
Starlink initially said that it would follow the global rules. The government wasn't happy with the decision and hence the company has not yet received its GMPCS license. However, later, Starlink decided to comply with the Indian norms and the company is expected to get the necessary approvals in the near future.
Eutelsat OneWeb and Jio Satellite Communications Ltd have already bagged all the necessary permissions. However, there's still the issue of how the spectrum would be allocated to the satellite players. Until that is resolved, having all the permissions and licenses would not do any good to the companies.
Amazon is expected to start offering internet services to customers in India by the middle of 2025. The timing of the launch is subject to how fast the regulatory approvals come for the company.