SpaceX will be the third company after OneWeb and the satellite arm of Reliance Jio to apply for this key license required to deploy high-speed space-based internet services in India using its global constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
“SpaceX will very shortly apply for a GMPCS license from the Indian authorities to launch satellite broadband services in the country,” a person with direct knowledge of the matter told ET. Separately, the company will also seek government statutory approvals for landing rights and market access.
Approval for setting up local gateways
This is vital for SpaceX to establish ground stations in the country (satellite gateways) and also deploy its global satellite bandwidth capacity in India. These clearances will have to come from India’s National Space Promotion and Clearance Center (IN-SPACe), a central regulatory body tasked with attracting private capital to the space sector.
SpaceX is likely to seek DoT approval to set up local gateways, the quoted people said.
As of press time, ET’s questions to SpaceX have gone unanswered. The company’s website states that Starlink is not yet available in India due to pending regulatory approvals. Coverage will continue to expand in India once this is achieved, he said.
Almost a year ago, the Ministry of Communications forced SpaceX’s Indian unit to withdraw its initiative to seek and accept pre-orders for its upcoming satellite broadband services in the country because it did not have the appropriate operating license.