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India seeks SpaceX Starlink permits

April 26, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Local reports in India say that its government will demand that SpaceX applies for the relevant permits and to show compliance with India’s telecom rules before it starts offering its satellite broadband Starlink service.

India’s telecoms regulator TRAI and Dept. of Telecommunications (DoT) say they are asking SpaceX to outline its plans in order that India can decide whether SpaceX needs both an ISP licence as well as VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) licence.  There are also noises from India’s Dept. of Space and concerns over a need for permission from the Indian National Space Promotion & Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to secure ‘landing rights’ to use signals of foreign satellites in India for satellite Internet services.

“DoT has no objections to SpaceX offering the Starlink satellite internet service in India, but it must comply with the laws of the land and seek an appropriate licence and other authorisations before offering the service to Indian consumers,” a government official told India’s Economic Times newspaper.

Local reports say that SpaceX’s Starlink service has already started offering – and accepting – pre-orders from Indian potential subscribers. Starlink has said that it plans to offer services to India in 2022.

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