Elon Musk’s SpaceX establishes subsidiary in India, plans to apply for license

The satellite broadband arm of SpaceX, Starlink aims to start the broadband services in India from December 2022, with 2 lakh active terminals subject to permission from the Government of India.

Created On: Nov 2, 2021 17:53 IST
Starlink network in India
Starlink network in India

SpaceX, owned by the world’s richest person Elon Musk, on November 1, 2021, established its wholly-owned subsidiary in India in order to start local broadband operations.

The satellite broadband arm of SpaceX, Starlink aims to start the broadband services in India from December 2022, with 2 lakh active terminals subject to permission from the Government of India.

Startlink country director India at SpaceX, Sanjay Bhargava said in a social media post, “Please to share that SpaceX now has a 100% owned subsidiary in India.  The name is SSCPL- Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited and the incorporation date is November 1, 2021. Happy Birthday, SSCPL. We can now start applying for licenses, open bank accounts, etc.”

SpaceX’s Starlink in India: Key Highlights

Starlink has claimed that it has received over 5,000 pre-order from India.

SpaceX’s subsidiary will be charging a deposit of USD 99 or Rs. 7,350 per customer. It also claims to deliver data speeds in the range of 50 to 150 megabits per second in the beta stage.

The services of Starlink will compete with that of Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel in broadband and it will also be a direct competitor to Bharti Group-backed OneWeb.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is keen to work in the rural areas of India for providing broadband services.

How SpaceX plans on expanding Starlink broadband service in India?

The cost of Starlink’s satellite broadband service, in India, will be around Rs. 1 lakh annually (about $100 dollars a month) while the kit, which will include the modem, dish, and cable, will cost about Rs. 40,000. In order to get a connection, customers will have to pre-book.

The company has also been looking to partner with entrepreneurs to make the services more affordable in India. For example, an entrepreneur can set up village centres where satellite broadband services can be used to provide services such as digital libraries, ATMs, cyber café, among others.

There is also a huge potential for Starlink services in India as nearly 70% of schools do not have broadband connectivity. The courts are also another area, where its services can be expanded.

The company will soon start applying for licenses to offer its satellite broadband services.

About Starlink

It is a satellite internet constellation that is operated by SpaceX. Starlink provides satellite internet access to most of the Earth. In mid-2021, the constellation consists of over 1600 satellites and it will eventually consist of many thousands of mass-produced small satellites in Low Earth Orbit, which will communicate with designated ground receivers.

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