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India says it won't preorder Starlink until licensed

India says it won't preorder Starlink until licensed

According to a Reuters report, India has instructed the public not to preorder SpaceX's satellite-based internet service Starlink. As the report notes, the Indian government says the company needs to obtain a license to operate in the country before it can begin deploying its services.

A tweet by India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said, "Public is advised not to subscribe to the advertised Starlink services." DoT also says that it has asked Starlink to refrain from "booking/rendering of satellite internet services in India". In other words, Starlink must hold the pre-orders until approval from the Government of India.

Starlink faced scrutiny from the Indian government in April, when DoT launched an investigation into whether Starlink's beta rollout broke any of India's telecom laws (via The Economic Times). As noted by The Economic Times, DoT's move came in the form of the Broadband India Forum (BIF), an independent policy forum representing large tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, that led DoT. to Starlink. Directed to stop pre-sale of equipment. License.

Reuters says that since Starlink officially registered its business in India on November 1, it has received more than 5,000 pre-orders in the country. There is no information on whether the existing pre-orders will be canceled or whether the customers will have to wait a bit longer. Starlink plans to deploy 200,000 devices in India by 2022, 80 percent of which are located in rural areas (via Reuters).

Right now, Starlink has about 140,000 beta users in 20 different countries, as reported by PCMag earlier this month. Musk predicts that there will be more than 500,000 Starlink customers within the next year.

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