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Musk’s Starlink may get Indian government approval soon

New Delhi, April 16, 2024
Ahead of Elon Musk’s visit to India, the tech billionaire’s satellite-based internet service Starlink has reportedly received tentative approval from the Ministry of Communications.

According to reports, the approval procedure is currently on the desk of Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, awaiting final clearance by the Home Ministry on some security issues.

The reports also mentioned that the commercial part has been examined on issues such as foreign investment and net worth, and the technical requirements have been examined in accordance with the licencing conditions.

Once Starlink gets approval from Vaishnaw, it will be issued a Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) services license, which is required to provide satellite communication services in the country.

Musk had attempted to launch its satellite internet service in India before. The latest attempt was in November 2022 when Starlink applied for a GMPCS license. However, disagreements with the government over pre-orders without proper licensing led to the cancellation of planned satellite communication service trials in the country.

The government in December last year passed The Telecommunications Bill 2023 which allows spectrum allocation for satellite-based services without the need to participate in auctions. The move favours companies such as OneWeb, Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper.

Last week, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX confirmed his visit to India to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his visit, he is expected to make a number of big announcements, including the launch of Starlink and investments in the country between $2 billion to $3 billion.(Agency)

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