Starlink: Elon Musk’s Entry in India, Rivals Jio & Airtel

Starlink: Elon Musk's Entry in India, Rivals Jio & Airtel

Elon Musk’s Starlink is expected to make its debut in the Indian market soon, set to compete with Reliance Jio and Airtel in the internet space.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s satellite internet company Starlink is expected to get its license to operate in India soon, after clearing regulatory checks and tests. Starlink is expected to bring increase and widespread connectivity to India, especially in remote and rural localities.

Elon Musk’s Starlink is expected to clarify its shareholding pattern to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, after which it will get an operating certificate from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The letter of intent by DoT will then be sent to telecom secretary Neeraj Mittal and minister of communications Ashwini Vaishnaw for their approval. After this, Starlink will be issued an approval from the Satellite Communications Wing.Notably, Starlink had applied for its global mobile personal communication by satellite services (GMPCS) license in 2022, and once granted, it will become the third company in India to get this license, after OneWeb and Reliance Jio.

Starlink speed and expected price in India

According to its global usage, Starlink usually offers a download speed of up to 25 and 220 Mbps, while upload speed is usually around 5 to 20 Mbps. Most users experience a download speed of over 100 Mbps, according to the Indiatoday

This kind of speed is not usually made available in remote areas through optical fibers of towers. Starlink is expected to offer speeds that are comparable to 4G and not 5G, since it is a satellite based internet provider.

While Starlink has not made any official statements regarding its pricing model in India yet, Moneycontrol reported that the cost of the service in the first year might be about ₹1,58,000, according to the company’s former India head. It is likely that the cost in the second year will be ₹1,15,000 plus 30 percent tax, since Starlink has a one-time purchase equipment.

Meanwhile, the user equipment’s base price is expected to be ₹37,400, along with ₹7,425 per month for services, reported Moneycontrol. The final pricing of Starlink will only be made available after the service gets its license.

Shrabani Sarkar

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