Elon Musk’s Starlink has stopped pre-orders in India for its satellite-based internet service. The latest development comes days after the central government-led Department of Telecommunications (DoT) warned citizens to not register for the internet services, as the company is yet to acquire a license. Currently, if a user tries to pre-book Starlink‘s internet service via the official website, they will see a new 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."
Last week, the central government released a notice which pointed out that Musk-led Starlink needs to acquire “requisite licenses" from DoT for rendering satellite-based internet services in India. The government notice added, “It is hereby informed to the public at large that the said company has not obtained any license/authorisation for rendering satellite-based internet services that are being booked on their website. Given the fact that Starlink is not a licensee, the public is advised not to subscribe to Starlink services being advertised."
Prior to this, the website noted, “Starlink is available to a limited number of users per coverage area at this time. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis."
Starlink opened pre-booking channels in February this year in select locations like the US, Canada and the UK. It registered its business in India on November 1 and seemingly started pre-selling its service. Musk’s SpaceX that oversees Starlink intends to offer high-speed internet connectivity from the Starlink constellation of satellites. The company aims to get rid of a wired connection and offer 1Gbps of internet speed with a low latency rate of up to 25ms, even in the remotest areas. A project like this can be extremely useful in India, especially in areas that are yet to get a wired internet connection.