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India issues pre-order refund edict on Starlink signups • The Register

India issues pre-order refund edict on Starlink signups • The Register
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The Indian government has reportedly told Elon Musk’s satellite internet company Starlink to return pre-orders that it was unable to fulfill because it did not have the licenses.

Starlink was preparing to offer internet services in India, registered business on November 1, advertising and even pre-sale subscriptions.

Sanjay Bhargava, the company’s new head of India, boasted on October 1 that the company had already signed up more than 5,000 customers and was encouraging more residents to pre-order the service.

He later said that the target of expanding sales was 200,000 active stations in the Indian subcontinent by December 2022, a small percentage in a market with 800 million broadband connections already.

The CEO was even looking to hire “music stars” to join him in boosting operations.

“The actual numbers may be much less than that or even zero if we don’t get the government’s approval, but we are unlikely to go beyond 200,000,” Bhagarva said, in a statement that accurately predicted the coming months.

The big problem Starlink faced was that it failed to secure the appropriate licenses with the government, which was clearly not satisfied with selling the services before agreeing to offer them.

In late November, Communications Department advised Locals do not subscribe to the service.

“We hope to have applied for a commercial license on or before January 31, 2022 (unless we run into some major hurdles),” the CEO said in December on his LinkedIn profile, adding: “There is currently unknown information about when You can have your own Starlink.—but please pay careful attention to whether Starlink can be just the broadband solution you need.”

Judging by Bhargava’s sales and marketing communications technology, the wheels of the satellite internet project seemed to be falling off.

According to Reuters, the Indian government asked Starlink yesterday to return all pre-orders until those licenses arrive. The company responded by sending emails to its customers, which began appearing on Reddit, telling customers they can “refund at any time” and explaining that there is no timeline for receiving the appropriate licenses, although Starlink “remains excited about serving India”.

On the same day, a LinkedIn post announced by Sanjay Bhargava’s account that he will be stepping down after just three months and four days.

It reads: “I have resigned from my position as Country Manager and Chairman of Starlink India for personal reasons. My last working day was on December 31, 2021. I will not have any comments to individuals and the media, so please respect my privacy.”

record He approached Starlink to confirm Bhargava’s departure.

The CEO has always had a relationship with companies owned by Elon Musk as he was a founding employee of PayPal. He even claims the title of PayPal random deposit inventor on his LinkedIn profile bio and the name cuts off from dear Elon on his site. Twitter Curriculum Vitae.

With no head of state and no licensing, it leaves some very big questions about the future of Starlink in India. The company did not immediately respond to questions from record To clarify what deactivation is or exactly how Excited for their stay to serve the region.

Even if Starlink gets the licenses, the price of the internet service may present some problems. The deposit for Starlink services is $99 (about $7,400) while Jio, India’s largest mobile operator, offers 2GB of downloads each day with unlimited voice service for four weeks for $2.05. A standard Jio phone costs around $86 and is bankable.

Another challenge is competition from the likes of OneWeb. The company also provides satellite internet and is now largely owned by Bharti Global, an Indian multinational that, along with the UK government and others, helped rescue the company when it faced the fallout from Brexit in the form of bankruptcy last year.

OneWeb is often compared to Starlink as both offer similar products and build constellations of satellites in low Earth orbit. However, the CEO of CNBC said last March that the two companies have very different approaches to the market, with OneWeb targeting businesses over people, and thus not really competing.

OneWeb has been steadily building alliances with the Indian government by becoming a founding member of the Indian Space Association (ISpA), a trade organization launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself last October.

At the launch of the ISpA, OneWeb announced the signing of a letter of intent between the company and the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to use Indian-made satellite launch vehicles as potential launch pads for OneWeb equipment starting in 2022.®

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