SpaceX plans to bring Starlink satellite internet to India
SpaceX, an American aerospace company owned by businessman Elon Musk, has urged the Indian government to initiate approvals for satellite broadband technologies. The move is aimed at expanding SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet constellation to the country. SpaceX has expressed interest in launching Starlink in India in a filing filed with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The company said it was on track with constellation deployments for continued Starlink coverage across India by the end of 2021.
Responding to a TRAI consultation document, Spacex Vice President of Satellite Government Affairs Patricia Cooper said that new technologies like Startlink may require consideration of up-to-date rules, policies, and regulations. It also recommended suggestions that included the promotion of technologically neutral broadband definitions and the allocation of frequencies already assigned for the use of satellite systems.
“Starlink’s early performance tests demonstrate that NGSO (non-geostationary) satellite technology is clearly capable of meeting not only the current definition of broadband, but also the increased criteria recommended by TRAI,” Cooper wrote in the presentation of the September 21, it was just put in focus by MediaNama.
SpaceX also noted, in responding to questions posed by TRAI, that policies that restrict or discourage the use of advanced satellite technologies like Starlink could contribute to higher fixed broadband costs and slower speeds of existing broadband services. The company also mentioned that landline wired and wireless technologies had “inherent infrastructure expense based on a cost per kilometer” that made it difficult to scale.
“SpaceX does not require expensive ‘last mile’ fiber lines to deliver reliable high-speed broadband,” Cooper said.
SpaceX also applied for a “blanket license” to allow multiple identical satellite terminals for broadband connectivity and urged the use of Ka-band frequencies used by fixed satellite service systems, including Starlink. Similarly, it asked the regulator to consider the potential of satellite operations in the V and E band frequencies.
On spectrum allocation, SpaceX suggested to TRAI that it prefer a band-splitting model among NGSO satellite operators.
Spacex successfully deployed the first 60 Starlink Internet broadcast satellites in space in May last year. The company also expanded its footprint into the satellite broadband space in February by launching 60 additional satellites. However, he is likely to face a tough fight with Amazon that Announced an investment of more than $ 10 billion (approximately Rs. 74,487 crore) in a satellite broadband plan at the end of July.