Starlink seeks approval to set up Earth station: report

Elon Musk’s Starlink has applied to the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) to get approval to set up an Earth station. Economic Times Reported.

The Indian Space Policy 2023 was approved by the Cabinet Committee headed by PM Modi. The policy assigns responsibility to ISRO, New Space India Limited (NSIL, a space sector PSU), and in the space, It is a single-window, independent, nodal agency functioning as an autonomous agency in the Department of Space (DoS) and has been created following reforms in the space sector to enable and facilitate the participation of private players.

Last year SpaceX applied for this Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for Global Mobile Personal Communication License by Satellite Services (GMPCS) to launch broadband-from-space services in India under its Starlink brand.

Speaking to ET, a government official told ET, “Starlink has applied for IN-Space, further adding that the GMPCS application is under process.” Giving further updates on Starlink’s GMPCS, officials aware of the matter also Said security checks from the home ministry are underway and approval is likely in a few months. Meanwhile, SpaceX is the third company to apply for the license after Bharti Group-backed OneWeb and the satellite arm of Reliance Jio Infocomm have earlier Has acquired GMPCS license.

Following a meeting with PM Modi in the US last month, Musk said he was looking forward to launching Starlink in India, which could be “incredibly helpful” in remote villages that don’t have internet or high-speed connectivity. There is lack of services. Tesla CEO He also said that he had a “very good” conversation with PM Modi and added that the electric vehicle maker would try to come to India “as soon as possible”, reports Reuters.

Starlink has been lobbying India not to auction spectrum but allocate licenses in line with the global trend, saying it is a natural resource that should be shared by companies. Company papers made public by the Indian government last month said that geographical restrictions could be imposed on the auction which would drive up costs.

Reliance had disagreed and called for the auction, making a public submission to the government that foreign satellite service providers could provide voice and data services and compete with traditional telecom players, and therefore There should be an auction to get a level playing field. It was said in the Reuters report.

In signs of deepening rivalry, an industry source with direct knowledge said Reliance will continue to push the Indian government to auction satellite spectrum and will not agree to the demands of foreign companies, the agency said.

Earlier in 2021, Starlink’s attempt to launch in India faced flak from local regulators for taking bookings without a licence. Starlink Internet Services stopped pre-booking of satellite-based internet services in India. “Starlink is not yet available in your area, but we continue to expand our coverage area as we launch more satellites. Please double check for future availability in your area,” read a notification on the website.

Meanwhile, Mongolia has been awarded two licenses for SpaceX to serve as an internet service provider using low-orbit satellites. Millions of Internet users in Mongolia will be able to access high-speed connections through Starlink, a satellite communications service operated by SpaceX, the government said in a statement. Earlier on July 3, Australia’s top telecoms firm Telstra Group said it would partner with Elon Musk’s Starlink to provide fixed broadband and voice services to rural Australians.

(with inputs from agencies)

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Updated: July 11, 2023, 08:25 AM IST