Connecting every nook and cranny: Starlink gears up for India launch

Ayushi Kar | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021
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If rollout is done by April 2022, the company aims to have 2,00,000 terminals by year end

Elon Musk-backed Starlink's satellite broadband service will be offered in India at ₹1,58,000 in the first year. This will include end-user equipment for ₹37,400 and ₹7,425 per month for the service.

Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink's country director, in a post said, the company hopes to apply for a commercial license on or before January 31 next year. Starlink has already applied for a trial license in order to test out the technology on Indian soil.

Bhargava also released a user guide for Starlink’s technology to provide beam internet to world’s most remote corners using a constellation of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to demonstrate use cases. According to the user guide, after the initial first year, the cost for using satellite broadband services will be ₹1,15,000 per year.

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If Starlink can commence rollout by April 2022, it aims to have 2,00,000 terminals in India by the end of next year. Users can experience a broadband speed of 150 mbps. "A Starlink WiFi router can be used by multiple users. With cabling and infrastructure, its reach can be extended,” the user guide stated.

Next big thing

Using LEOs to provide broadband services is the next disrupter in the broadband market. For Bhargava, the main thrust of Starlink in India is going to be rural connectivity. “The debate (on telecom and broadband connectivity) in India must change from price to increased access,” Bhargava had said recently in an interaction.

The rural market is notoriously a low-revenue one, yet Bhargava is not very worried about the expensive broadband service. “There are government grants, USO funds, corporate social responsibility programmes ... if the energy is motivated, if cost-benefit makes sense and there is societal benefit, the funding will follow,” he had said in November.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk-backed SpaceX’s India subsidiary is also recruiting for two open positions to join its team —director of rural transformation and executive assistant.

Published on December 06, 2021

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