Starlink is a satellite internet constellation for providing broadband internet access with speeds as high as 150 Mbps. The Starlink project is managed by SpaceX, which is one of Elon Musk’s ambitious projects. After launching Tesla’s electric vehicles in India in 2020, the company decided to bring Starlink to the country soon. Now, you can pre-book Starlink based on your location.
How much internet speed will Starlink provide?
Starlink is a network of over 1,000 satellites that are providing an internet speed of about 50Mbps to 150Mbps, with a latency of 20ms to 40ms. The speed is expected to get enhanced up to 300Mbps soon, with a negligible latency of 20ms. The company is aiming to have a network of 12,000 satellites that would be capable of offering 1Gbps internet speed in the future.
According to SpaceX, “If any object such as a tree, chimney, pole, etc. interrupts the path of the beam, even briefly, your internet service will be interrupted”.
When and where will Starlink be available in India?
TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recently published a consultation paper focused on a plan to ‘Promote Broadband Connectivity and Enhanced Broadband’. Starlink’s official website states that India would get the Starlink internet by 2022.
According to Starlink’s official website, “Starlink is available to a limited number of users per coverage area at this time. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis”.
As of now, there is not much information about the exact time of arrival and the regions where it will be available. However, Starlink is expected to cover major cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.
According to Patricia Cooper, Vice-President of SpaceX Satellite Government Affairs, Starlink’s high-speed satellite network “will advance the goal of delivering broadband connectivity in the near term to all Indians, particularly those without access now or in the near-term to broadband services traditionally available only to customers in urban and suburban areas”.
How can you pre-book Starlink?
You can pre-book Starlink in the following simple steps.
1) Go to the Starlink official website (https://www.starlink.com/).
2) You will need to enter the PIN code so that the website can find the location.
3) Click on ‘Order Now’.
4) You will be redirected to a new page.
5) Enter the details and pay the fee amount ($99, or about Rs. 7,300) within a specific period.
It must be noted that currently, Starlink is running a beta version, so service is available on a first-come-first-served basis. As soon as you make the payment, your priority access gets reserved in the designated location. The fee you pay is fully refundable, giving you the flexibility to change your decision at any time.
Is there any concern for Indian telecom companies?
There are several companies apart from SpaceX that are planning to launch high-speed satellite internet services in India. Hughes India recently collaborated with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to offer internet services to 5,000 villages located in Eastern Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura, and Manipur.
The company is expected to utilise the Indian space agency’s communications satellites, namely GSAT-19 and GSAT-11. Similarly, Bharti Airtel is planning to release a similar service employing OneWeb’s LEO constellation of internet satellites. However, the companies providing internet services by conventional means may get impacted by the arrival of Starlink in India. These companies include BSNL (Bharat Fiber), Airtel (Airtel Extreme), and Reliance Jio (Jio Fiber).
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