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June, 19

Starlink may get nod to start India service

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NEW DELHI: After being stuck in the home ministry over security concerns for almost a year, Elon Musk‘s satellite company Starlink may finally get a go-ahead from the telecom ministry to start offering services in India.
“A high-level meeting is slated for later this month and Starlink’s proposal for a global mobile personal communication by satellite (GMPCS) services licence is expected to be taken up there,” a top source told TOI. “The meeting is likely to give an approval to the proposal, though we cannot rule out certain last-minute hiccups that may cause some more delays.”
Once it gets GMPCS, Starlink will need to receive certain other approvals from different government wings and also from the department of space, before it formally begins taking orders and works towards launching operations. Currently, Sunil Mittal-backed One Web and Mukesh Ambani’s Jio (in partnership with Luxembourg-based SES) have got the GMPCS licence, while Jeff Bezos’ ‘Project Kuiper’ is still to come to India.
A division of Musk‘s SpaceX aerospace company, Starlink had started its bid in India on a sour note as it was reprimanded by the telecom ministry in late 2021 for taking advance money from subscribers towards fee for its services even when it did not have a licence. The company was understood to have received over 5,000 pre-orders for its devices in India then, following which it faced the ire of the government and was ordered to start refunding those who had paid (it collected $99 from each).





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