While there are over 5,000 pre-orders for Starlink devices in India, indicating strong demand, Starlink will have to reimburse pre-orders due to a lack of a business license that would allow it to deliver its services in the country. Starlink will have to refund pre-orders and refrain from taking new orders. Following the Indian government order, the satellite internet company announced to its members that it wouldn’t be operating in India until it had been issued the necessary license, and the company would be refunding pre-orders taken.
The company responded in an email to one of its customers that getting a refund would not be difficult because clients can seek a refund at any time, as has always been the case. Because of several issues with the licensing procedure, the company is still unsure whether the Indian government would grant them a license to operate.
Starlink’s Operation Stops in India
The Indian government has instructed its citizens not to subscribe to an unlicensed company and ordered Starlinks to stop offering its services and receiving orders. The company had announced that it would be applying for a license in India in January, and it aims to deliver about 200,000 Starlink devices by December 2022. But the chances of achieving this appears dimmed at the moment.
Sanjay Bhargava, the director and board chairman of Starlink in India, resigned after taking up the role in October 2021. On Tuesday, the former director stated that he made his decisions based on personal reasons. According to a presentation shared by Bhargava in a LinkedIn post, Starlink had planned to enhance rural areas’ development through its wideband internet services.
Starlink Hopes For The Future
Starlink aims to continue providing its satellite services in India, including satellite broadband internet, content storage, streaming, multimedia, and other services as soon as possible. While the company is working towards resuming its operations in India, it deals with satellite phones, network equipment, wired and wireless communication devices, and data transmission and receiving equipment, among other things.
The rationale given in the email by Starlink is that the timing for getting licenses to operate in India is unknown at the moment. On the other hand, many challenges within the licensing system need to be resolved before Starlink can operate in India.
According to Bhargava, Starlink will be applying for its license in India by the end of January. The company can still achieve its target to deliver 200,000 devices in the country if it can begin rollout in April. The company aims to deliver 100 free devices to schools in Delhi and neighboring rural regions in the first phase after being granted permission to provide services and then to target 12 rural districts across India in the second phase.