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Will Musk announce affordable Starlink internet service during India visit?

New Delhi, April 11 2024-

Starlink, an affordable satellite-based internet service offered by Elon Musk-run aerospace company SpaceX, has transformed the way people access the web in remote and inaccessible parts of the world. Will Musk announce its arrival in India when he visits the country later this month?

After several failed attempts, Starlink is geared up to launch satellite broadband services in India, which has close to 92 crore broadband subscribers, according to the latest data by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel currently lead the broadband market, followed by Vodafone Idea and BSNL. Starlink is set to soon get a license after clearing regulatory hurdles.

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.

According to experts, India’s digital economy is experiencing a period of significant growth momentum.

“The potential arrival of Starlink, coinciding with Musk’s visit, could serve as a further catalyst for India’s thriving digital economy,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS.

Increased digital access would empower citizens in ‘aspirational India’, fostering a wave of entrepreneurship, enhanced access to education and healthcare, and increased participation in the digital workforce.

All Starlink subscription plans include unlimited high-speed data on land with no long-term contracts or commitments. Starlink users can get download speeds up to 220 Mbps, with most of them receiving speeds of over 100 Mbps. The cost of Starlink services in India is not known as of now.

In the US, the basic Starlink Wi-Fi for homes in rural areas is $120 per month for unlimited internet sans contract. There are other data plans as well. (Agency)

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