Satellite Group, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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Prakash’s views come on the close heels of a Delhi-based lobby group Broadband India Forum (BIF) which recently said that SpaceX does not have the necessary permissions to offer satellite-based broadband services in India, and sought regulatory intervention to ensure fair competition. US-based SpaceX owns Starlink which is a satellite constellation for providing Internet access.

In February this year, the space broadband company Starlink opened its services for pre-booking in India with a fully-refundable deposit of $99 or about Rs 7,300. Starlink satellites touted to be closer to earth, would offer lower latency of nearly 20 milliseconds, and the ability to deliver high-speed Internet services with up to 1 Gbps downloading or uploading speeds.The Centre has recently set up a new space regulator, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) for the promotion of satellite-based services and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the space sector.

“The responsible government authority will carry out its due diligence on the application submitted before Starlink can offer its commercial services. Any organisation looking to offer services in the country must follow the law of the land, and adhere to the country’s licensing and regulatory framework,” Prakash said. SiA-India said that new investments would spur design and development of a series of launch vehicles, satellites and related technologies for earth observation, telecommunication and broadband, navigation, and meteorology as well as research and development (R&D) activities in space sciences, and planetary exploration.

Defending the Elon Musk-backed company that has recently made its car brand Tesla debut in the country, SiA-India’s Prakash said that as and when Starlink would wish to offer its commercial services in India, it would be required to submit its application with necessary details in line with the existing regulatory regime. The forum that represents technology giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, further alleged Starlink as non-compliant with country’s existing framework, and asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to prevent Starlink from entering the Indian market.

Source India’s space program, according to Prakash, is considered to be one of the most developed initiatives in the world that has achieved success not only through its state-owned agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) but also through many private companies that provide satellite and space equipment and expertise responsible for driving the space activities in the country.

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