Good news! There had been anxious and exuberant expectation about the Starlink satellite broadband service and a potential launch in India soon, and now we have confirmation that it is indeed happening. The SpaceX owned satellite broadband service will be launching in most, if not all regions of India, next year. Though the exact roadmap and timing of the rollout in India in 2022 is not confirmed, this is the first confirmation we have received about the incoming Starlink satellite broadband services in India. In a communication sent to potential subscribers, one received by the writer of this update, Starlink is now accepting preorders for $99, to reserve one of the first installations for you in your region or location, when the service is activated for India.
The Starlink deposit terms for this $99 that you pay today suggest that this is for the purchase of the Starlink equipment that you’ll need to access the satellite broadband service. “By placing your Deposit Payment, you have established priority within your region for purchasing the Starlink Kit when available,” says Starlink. Payments are accepted via credit cards and debit cards, as well as Apple Pay, which is still not officially rolled out as a digital payment platform in India. Starlink says that the $99 deposit is fully refundable at any time, though you will forfeit your priority service access position. It is expected that the Starlink hardware kits will be in limited supply, at least in the initial months, of launch of the Starlink satellite broadband in India.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is aggressively testing the Starlink satellite broadband service, and it has now been confirmed that the satellite broadband service will now get a speed boost to 300Mbps this year. That will be double of the maximum speeds that Starlink delivers to customers, which is up to 150Mbps at this time. Starlink, during the beta testing phase, till now offers users broadband speeds between 50Mbps and 150Mbps with the latency expected between 20ms and 40ms, depending on location. With the speed boost, latency will also see a reduction, closer to 20ms, which will further enhance the web browsing experience. It is expected that by the time the Starlink broadband service is available in India, the speed boosts up to 300Mbps would have been activated.
The Starlink kit gets you a phased-arrayed’ satellite dish, a tripod and a Wi-Fi router. You can download the Starlink app for iPhone and Android phones to determine the best install location at your home or office. The Elon Musk-owned aerospace company SpaceX intends to provide high speed internet connectivity from the Starlink constellation of satellites. The aim is to eventually offer as much as 1Gbps internet speeds and a global coverage, in due course of time, with a fairly low latency of up to 25ms, once the satellite constellation is complete.
A satellite internet system in India could help push connectivity to the regions where wired broadband still remains unavailable, or at best offers inconsistent coverage due to distance or terrain. And even in the metro cities as well as Tier-1 and Tier-2 towns, the Starlink satellite broadband service could provide stiff competition for the fiber broadband and wired broadband players in India, including Reliance Jio Fiber and Airtel Xstream broadband, as well as a host of smaller broadband players who are often limited to specific regions in their scope of service.