Elon Musk’s Starlink Project Receives Nod from Indian Telecom Ministry

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Elon Musk’s Starlink Project Receives Nod from Indian Telecom Ministry

Days before Tesla’s founder Elon Musk pays a visit to India, his satcom venture Starlink has received a nod from the telecom ministry, implying that it has been granted approval to Starlink’s license and is speeding up its clearance. Musk’s dreamy Starlink satellite communication project is nearing a possible launch in India and has been granted soft approval by the Department of Telecommunications, looked after by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. 

The decision has been taken after an evaluation for almost three and a half years, as reported by The Times of India. However, it is also suggested that the approval is still under contemplation, but the DoT authority is trying to smoothen the clearance processes. There are plans to complete the procedures before Elon Musk arrives for his 2-day visit to India.

The Tesla founder’s visit to India revolves around the discussion over India’s Tesla and Starlink’s operations in India. The owner is set to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The final review of the approval process lies with Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and the Ministry of Home Affairs as they are reviewing security concerns that may come up with Starlink. Till now, the commercial prospects of Starlink’s India project have been reviewed over thoroughly. These include foreign investment, financial standing, etc. According to reports, it is being stated that so far Starlink’s proposal fulfills all the requirements that are put forward with official guidelines. 

After receiving approval from the Union Minister, Starlink will be given a Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Services (GMPCS) license, which is important for offering any satellite communication service in India. Yet, apart from its benefits, this project is subject to various concerns and issues. The mass deployment of satellites has escalated worries about its repercussions on the night sky, astronomical observations, and the impact on wildlife behavior. Concerns have also been raised over data security and controlling connectivity. India seeks Starlink assurances for security, ensuring data transmission only terminates at local gateways and avoids redirected satellite beams to foreign destinations.

Starlink is a unit of SpaceX, which is a provider of high-speed internet at a global level using a constellation of several satellites in low-earth orbit. This facility is usually prevalent in rural or remote areas where broadband internet or fiber-based connectivity isn’t common. Users need a Starlink kit, including a self-orienting dish, WiFi router, power supply, cables, and base, to access Starlink, a service managed via the Starlink app. At present, the Elon-Musk-owned company operates with its services in countries such as the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South America, Asia, and Africa, to name a few. 

About Starlink

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation which is operated under the banner of Starlink Services, LLC. Starlink Services LLC is a totally owned subsidiary of American aerospace corporation SpaceX, and it provides coverage to over 70  countries. It is also a provider of worldwide mobile broadband. Starlink has been active in launching satellites since 2019 and is extensively used during the Russo-Ukranian War.

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