Elon Musk’s Starlink stops pre-booking in India after a recent order from Indian government

The government of India has advised the public to refrain from pre-booking Musk's Starlink satellite Internet service in the country.

Highlights
  • Elon Musk’s Starlink stops accepting pre-booking for satellite internet service in India.
  • The government of India has asked Starlink to obtain due licenses before operating in India.
  • Starlink received more than 5,000 pre-bookings in India.

Last week, the government of India issued a public advisory against Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Services. As per the advisory, Musk’s Starlink is not yet licensed to provide satellite Internet in the country. In the advisory, the central government asked the public not to pay any amount for services advertised by the Elon Musk-backed Starlink. The government further told Starlink to stop taking bookings of satellite Internet services “with immediate effect” in India. Now, Starlink Internet Services has stopped taking pre-booking in the country, abiding by the recent orders.

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Starlink’s pre-booking page now shows a prompt reading, “Starlink is not yet available in your area but as we launch more satellites, we continue to expand our coverage area. Please check back for future availability in your area,” when you enter a service address located in India. Earlier, SpaceX was accepting pre-bookings for the Starlink satellite Internet services in India for a refundable deposit of USD 99 (approx Rs 7,400).

The government of India has asked Starlink to acquire the “requisite licenses” from the Department of Telecom to offer satellite-based Internet services in India. The central government has also asked Elon Musk-owned Starlink to comply with the Indian regulatory framework before accepting pre-bookings for satellite Internet in India.

In February, SpaceX started taking Starlink satellite Internet service pre-booking in select locations like the US, Canada, and the UK. Later, it began the pre-bookings in India. Sanjay Bhargava, Country Director, Starlink, recently said that the company had received more than 5,000 pre-bookings in the country. He further said that the company plans to partner with telecom operators in the country to provide broadband services in rural areas.

As of now, it’s not clear whether Starlink will be refunding the security deposit or not. However, as per the government, Starlink can start operating in India once it gets the due regulatory terms to offer satellite-based Internet in the country.