One of the most promising developments in the internet sector is not 5g/6g but SpaceX’s Starlink internet. Reliability is still a problem that network operators are trying to combat, but with satellite-based internet, that’s bound to get better. Another important factor is availability. There are still many countries where internet connectivity is a luxury, and it is obvious that SpaceX won’t have any problem in providing network in such areas. One such country is India, where due to a huge population and the presence of many small towns and areas, internet connectivity is not great. So, living in there, I do ask myself when Starlink is coming to the country. Let’s see!
SpaceX’s Starlink internet in India
SpaceX is soon going to enter India with the same 100 Mbps connection that is providing in many other countries. And the entry in India will be under the company’s name and using the Starlink project. For this, the company will have to acquire a license to provide internet connectivity in the country. But that sure is going to take some time. The company is already asking the government to consider allowing satellite-based internet connectivity in the country. I am sure that the sheer size of the Indian telecommunications market is good enough to attract SpaceX. It will even make them work hard to get the government’s permission.
In August 2020, the TRAI did promote the use of broadband connectivity in the country. It even launched a roadmap to do so. And SpaceX’s entry in the country will just speed up the entire process. And this was what Patricia Cooper, SpaceX’s Satellite Government Affairs Vice President said in reply to the paper published by TRAI. She also specifically brought in the availability point that SpaceX can solve with its satellite internet. This is because even now the Jio Fibre and Airtel broadband, one of the best service providers in the country are only available in urban areas. And so it is really difficult for rural customers to get proper internet connections.
As of now, there are about 1000 satellites launched by SpaceX in the lower Earth orbit. And the company’s says that by mid-2021 or at max by the end of the year, they will have enough satellites up there to provide global service. So, we can count India in there.
The price problem!
Another problem that the company plans to solve is the traditionally high cost of broadband in the country. But this is something I am highly sceptical about. In the US for getting SpaceX’s Starlink internet connection an $499 one time fee and $99 monthly subscription is required. This roughly translates to Rs 35,000 and Rs 7500 which is very high if we compare it to other companies and also the local ISPs in the country.
What do you think should be the price of SpaceX’s Starlink internet to actually make any difference in the Indian market? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found dour content informative do like and share it with your friends.