Starlink is not licensed to sell satellite Internet services in India.
India Cautioned the Public Not to Subscribe to Starlink
India’s communications ministry stated that Starlink isn’t a licensee in the said country. It barred the company from accepting pre-orders for its satellite broadband services. The Indian government advised the public to stop subscribing to Starlink satellite Internet service.
The Indian government said that Starlink Internet has not obtained authorization to offer satellite-based Internet services. It has to obtain the required licenses from the DoT first before it can render satellite Internet services in the said nation.
This is a huge blow to Musk’s ambitions in India. The pre-orders of the said services have reached 5,000. Before the announcement, Starlink’s potential customers were asked to deposit $99 to be added to the company’s priority list.
Starlink satellite broadband services are scheduled to launch in India in 2022. But the availability is still dependent on regulatory approvals.
The company faced its first challenge in March when an association consisting of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other companies wrote to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to stop Starlink from pre-selling its beta version of satellite service in India.
The association claimed that the company has no valid license from the Indian government to provide the said services. The directive comes at a time when OneWeb, Amazon, and the Tata-Telesat are preparing to enter the country’s budding Internet-from-space segment.
Starlink Pushed Back Pre-Ordes
Meanwhile, Starlink apologized to its customers after it stopped some preorders. It stated that silicon shortages prevented the company from producing more of its Internet kit in the US.
Customers have already paid a $100 deposit in the early part of the year. The company promised that its beta version of satellite Internet service would be up and running in the middle of 2021.
Those who preordered complained about not getting the kit on social media. They stated that the kit is not available until next year. Sadly, they have already waited for months just to obtain the service.
Starlink stated that silicon shortages in the last six months slowed its expected production rate. It has impacted its ability to fulfill Starlink orders this year.
Previously, the company stated that the global chip shortage has delayed the production of user terminals. They are dishes that connect to the satellites in orbit.
Most of these customers who pre-ordered are located in rural locations. Satellite Internet is their only option to have Internet access. One of the complainants said that it’s not about the delay that upsets them. Rather, they’re upset because the “company lied to us.” After all, Starlink promised a “first come first serve basis.”
Some preorder customers waited for nine months before canceling their $100 deposits. Other customers are frustrated because they couldn’t find a way to contact the company.
Is Satellite Broadband Any Good?
It’s a better alternative to get Internet in your home. It works like satellite TV. It’s a favorable option because it doesn’t rely on cables going into each home. But is it faster though? Starlink promised that it’ll be a lot faster and more reliable.