The Indian Department of Telecommunications has instructed SpaceX to refrain from selling their Starlink satellite internet services in India with immediate effect.
In addition, the Indian Government urged their citizens to not pre-order or buy the service.
The issue stems from a licencing issue in the country. As per the government department statement, Starlink and SpaceX lack the necessary licence to offer satellite-based internet. Licences for satellite-based internet services in the country are provided by the Ministry of Communications and the Department of Telecommunications.
After the government announcement, the Starlink Country Director in India posted to social media that Starlink wants to collaborate with all Indian telecoms to provide 100% broadband access in the country.
According to earlier reports, Starlink planned to work with established telecom companies in India to expand their network. As Starlink does not require the typical infrastructure, Starlink hoped to expand internet access into rural areas with these established partners.
As per Starlink’s data, the company has already received over 5,000 pre-orders from India. Pre-orders only require a deposit of $99 and the rest of the equipment fee when their Starlink kit ships. Earlier this month, Starlink incorporated in India ahead of their planned launch.
SpaceX did not officially comment on the situation.