India: SpaceX Needs a License to Offer Starlink Pre-Orders
India has told SpaceX to halt Starlink pre-orders until it's licensed to operate within the country.SpaceX announced in early November that it plans to ship 200,000 of its Starlink dishes to 12 Indian provinces by December 2022 as part of the satellite internet service's expansion. (Even though it currently serves just 140,000 beta testers across 20 different countries.)Reuters reports that SpaceX registered Starlink in India on Nov. 1. It then started to accept pre-orders in the country—and India's Department of Telecommunications (DOT) isn't happy."Accordingly," the DOT says, "the Government of India has asked the company to comply with Indian regulatory framework for rendering the satellite based communication services and refrain from booking/rendering the satellite internet services in India with immediate effect."This doesn't mean SpaceX's ambitions for Starlink will be brought down to Earth. The service's Indian rollout was always going to be subject to regulatory approval; the primary difference now is that it's supposed to stop bringing in money via pre-orders before it receives the go-ahead.The Hindu reports that Starlink Country Director for India Sanjay Bhargava said the company had received more than 5,000 pre-orders since expanding to the country. It's not clear if those pre-orders will have to be canceled as a result of the DOT's restrictions on Starlink's rollout.
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