Starlink, a SpaceX owned satellite broadband service provider, is subsidising costs for the Indian users heavily. The service is quite expensive, and if the cost was passed on to the customers, it would become unaffordable. Sanjay Bhargava, India head for Starlink, said that the benefits offered by the connection must outstrip the costs involved.
According to an ET Telecom report, Bhargava said Starlink only wants to focus on areas that are hardest to reach by the terrestrial network service providers. Bhargava believes that Starlink can change the game in India from both pricing to access.
Starlink Might Partner With Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio
While it is not officially announced, there’s a strong chance that Bharti Airtel will partner with OneWeb in India. This leaves room for Starlink to partner with Airtel’s rivals, including Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea.
By partnering up with the telcos, Starlink will offer connectivity and network services in areas that are hardest to reach today. Bhargava has further said that Starlink isn’t duping customers by running a Ponzi scheme.
SpaceX now has an officially registered subsidiary in India called Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited (SSCPL) that will allow the company to start applying for licenses.
Much recently, Bhargava had said that Starlink would offer 100 devices to schools for free which would include 20 schools in Delhi and 80 schools in a rural district near Delhi.
The satcom industry in India is going to see heated up competition next year when companies such as Starlink and OneWeb enter the Indian market. It will be interesting to see how the satcom companies will get the spectrum from the government.
Starlink is already accepting pre-booking of connections in India. A ton of people have paid the company $99 or around Rs 7500 for pre-booking. The commercial services might of Starlink might only come during the second half of 2022. The company is yet to get regulatory approvals from the government for the same.