Starlink, a SpaceX owned satellite broadband company is currently in the process of figuring out the regulatory approval process in India. The company plans to enter the Indian market by mid-2022. Starlink’s India Director, Sanjay Bhargava along with his wife Anita Kapur Bhargava recently shared a video presentation demonstrating the company’s plan of rolling out satellite broadband service in rural India next year.
Starlink Wants to Operate at Least 200,000 Devices in India by the End of 2022
Starlink wants to operate at least 200,000 devices by the end of 2022 in India. Out of these 200,000 Starlink devices, the company wants 160,000 (80%) of the devices to be in rural India while the rest in urban cities.
The company is planning to provide 20 schools in Delhi and 80 schools in a rural district near Delhi with free 100 Starlink hardware kits. Further, the company’s representatives are also planning to work with NITI Aayog to identify 12 rural districts, three from each region including the West, East, North, and South to offer internet services.
This move from Starlink will certainly boost connectivity in the remote and rural parts of the country. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX said that Bhargava deserves a lot of credit for the success of PayPal in India. Musk said that Bhargava is now helping with serving the rural communities in the country as well.
The major challenge for Starlink would be to figure out how to get regulatory approval in India. India will see some major competition between companies such as Bharti owned OneWeb, Hughes, and Starlink from 2022.
One thing that the government is yet to decide is how should the spectrum be allocated to the satcom companies. The satcom industry wants the spectrum to be allocated in an administrative manner. However, the telcos feel that is unfair to them and the spectrum should only be allocated through the auction route.