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Report: Govt likely to grant conditional approval to Starlink

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In Short:

Elon Musk’s Starlink is close to getting approval to offer satellite communication services in India, but with conditions. The Indian government wants to ensure no data is shared with US agencies and equipment is not shared. Musk is expected to meet PM Modi to discuss Tesla’s plans of opening a manufacturing plant in India. Starlink aims to provide free internet services in rural areas using a government fund.


Starlink may receive conditional approval from Government of India

starlink may get a conditional approval from

Starlink, owned by Elon Musk, a global satellite communications (satcom) services provider, is on the verge of receiving conditional approval from the Government of India (GoI) to offer services in the country. However, this approval will only be granted if the company ensures that its equipment is not shared with any United States (US) agencies and that data is not stored or shared outside India.

Partnership with Indian Company and Musk’s Visit

An ET report suggests that the government may require Starlink to partner with an Indian company for a specified period to provide services. Elon Musk is expected to visit India later this month to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with discussions likely to involve Tesla establishing a manufacturing or assembly plant in the country. Rumors also indicate a potential partnership between Tesla and Reliance for manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) in India.

Data Privacy Concerns and Approval Delays

The government has delayed approval for Starlink due to concerns about its connections with the US government. The GoI wants to ensure that no Indian data is shared with US government or agencies through Starlink. Starlink aims to offer services in the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector, differing from the strategies of Eutelsat OneWeb and Jio Satellite Communications Limited.

Starlink previously accepted pre-bookings for connections in India but had to refund customers as it lacked the necessary licenses. Since 2021, the company has been seeking approval from the government, facing various obstacles in the process.

Service Plans and Commitments to India

Starlink has informed the Indian government of its intention to provide internet services in rural and underserved areas for ‘free’ using the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).


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