Starlink is a SpaceX program to provide high speed satellite internet everywhere in the world. Aiming at places where previously getting high speed internet was hard.
Yesterday a report came out by ET Prime that BroadBand forum of India has written to TRAI & ISRO raising concerns about Starlink.
Seems strange, complaining about a product that is yet to be launched in India.
According to report BIF represents various tech companies including Amazon, Bharti, One Web etc.
The forum complains that
- SpaceX doesn't have ground services
- No Satellite frequency authorization
- someone can't launch a service that is in beta state(because SpaceX Starlink is Beta Better Than Nothing)
Yes, SpaceX doesn't have ground service station or authorisation. SpaceX Starlink is not yet registered in India as company(we are tracking it). But does this matter? No, why?
- SpaceX is yet to launch it's services in India, so they have time to do stuff like ground service station.
- SpaceX is yet to launch it's services in India, so they have time to get authorisations. As in earlier media reports, SpaceX is talking with govt regarding that?
- Somebody tell them that SpaceX hasn't launched the service in India yet. So it doesn't matter if it's in beta or not in other countries.
As per Starlink websites, SpaceX plans to start services in 2022. Might get delayed also. All SpaceX is doing is taking pre orders for a service that they plan to provide in future. So I don't think any of the points of BIF holds.
Now why someone is afraid of a service that is yet to be launched? Who is BIF representing? I don't think BIF would have written the letter unless asked by some whom they are representing. As per article Amazon, Bharti (Airtel?) are among it's member. Bharti co owns One Web with UK Govt after one web went bankrupt.
Bharti plans to start internet services in India via one web sometimes in 2022. So they might be the one. Amazon also plans to launch it's constellation of internet satellites. While one web has launched some satellites, Amazon is yet to launch single one. We have seen efforts from Amazon in US to block or reduce Starlink's reach, so won't be surprised to see it here too. But a company with more satellites is surely better than the one with none.
The quoted comments in article just seems to show someone is afraid. And they talk about "fair competition". So atleast let SpaceX launch the service first!
One another benefit SpaceX has is that they launch their satellites themselves on reusable boosters, that helps a lot in reducing cost.
Another major telecom player is Reliance Jio, but am not sure if it is member of BIF or not. Jio is surely expanding its Jio Fibre. But as Elon has said many times, Starlink is not meant to compete with Fibre. Starlink is meant for areas like villages, hills, boats in sea i.e. places where fibre is not easy to reach. So I don't think it will affect Jio much.
Let's see what happens, there are always going to be some complaining, crying about SpaceX or Tesla.
Let me know below what do you think.
Tesla Club India