SpaceX to Apply for Permit to Launch Starlink in India: Report

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has had trouble deploying its Starlink satellite internet in India, but a new report shows the company hoping to reach mobile users in the country.

SpaceX is planning to apply to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for a global mobile personal communications by satellite services (GMPCS) permit to launch its Starlink services in India, according to sources familiar with the matter (via Economic Times).

The move would place Musk’s company in direct competition with the Bharti Group-backed OneWeb and Reliance Jio in a market estimated to have a $13 billion value by 2025.

“SpaceX will very shortly apply for a GMPCS licence to the Indian authorities to start satellite broadband services in the country,” said one of the sources with direct familiarity with the subject.

The news comes after SpaceX was told to halt Starlink efforts immediately by the Indian government earlier this year, after the U.S. company had planned to apply for a license to operate the service in December.

In January, SpaceX refunded all Starlink pre-orders in India and the company’s head of operations for the country resigned.

SpaceX had also planned to work with other local manufacturers in India upon launching the low-Earth orbit satellite internet in the country.