SpaceX looks forward to providing high-speed Starlink satellite internet across India. SpaceX’s India Country Director Sanjay Bhargava and his wife Anita Kapur Bhargava, shared a video presentation via a LinkedIn post that outlines SpaceX’s plan to roll out Starlink broadband service to rural Indian communities next year, starting with a pilot program divided in three phases. “... At Starlink, we want to serve the underserved. We hope to work with fellow broadband providers, solution providers in the aspirational districts to improve and save lives,” Mr. Bhargava stated.
During Starlink roll out ‘Phase 1,’ SpaceX plans to provide 100 Starlink hardware kits for free to rural Indian communities. The kits include a phased-array dish antenna and Wi-Fi router to access the satellite network. 20 Starlink Kits will be delivered to schools in Delhi and 80 for schools in a rural district located close to Delhi. In Phase 2, Starlink representatives will work with local leaders to identify 12 rural districts, three situated in each region - North, South, East & West - across the country. By the end of 2022, the company’s Phase 3 goal is to operate at least 200,000 Starlink devices, 160,000 of those in rural communities across India. This plan would pave the path for India telecommunication authorities to grant SpaceX an commercial internet provider license to expand the service to more customers. The video presentation was also shared on Twitter by Tesla India Club, linked below.
Presentation from #StarlinkIndia🇮🇳🛰.— Tesla Club India® (@TeslaClubIN) October 31, 2021
Catalyzing Rural Development by Anita Bhargava, wife of Starlink India Country Director Sanjay Bhargava. She is going to volunteer pro bono to help Starlink.
Starlink is working with Niti Ayog to identify 12 Districts for initial deployment pic.twitter.com/oYlpy6Lcof
SpaceX operates a broadband constellation of nearly 1,800 satellites operating in low Earth orbit that already beam internet to over 100,000 customers across at least 15 countries. The company already surpassed over half-a-million service pre-orders. A bit over 5,000 Starlink pre-orders are from customers who reside in India, according to Bhargava. They are providing service to select-customers based on coverage capacity and on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. SpaceX is accepting pre-orders via Starlink.com.
Bhargava emphasized in a series of LinkedIn posts that Starlink is still pending regulatory approval in the country. They plan to first initiate the pilot program for rural regions before rolling out internet service across the country. “Politicians and bureaucrats interested in working with Starlink and other broadband providers are welcome to contact me,” he wrote. India is expected to be a huge broadband market opportunity for SpaceX because nearly 75% of rural India does not have access to internet, nor mobile service. SpaceX could tap into a new market and help people have access to the important telecommunications utility that has defined the 21st Century.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Starlink.com
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.