According to a top official, Starlink, a subsidiary of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has registered its firm in India and is planning to seek for permits from the local authorities.
“Pleased to share that SpaceX now has a 100% owned subsidiary in India,” Sanjay Bhargava, India director for Starlink, said in a LinkedIn post Monday. Starlink’s local India unit is registered with the name Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited.
A local unit is essential for an internet business to offer its services in India, where Starlink expects to offer 200,000 active terminals in over 160,000 districts by December 2022, according to company executives.
That is an ambitious aim for the firm, which had deployed 100,000 user terminals in 14 countries as at August 2021. Bhargava, a former PayPal executive, began his new position in early October.
In recent months, the company hired a number of important executives in India, including Parnil Urdhwareshe, who previously oversaw AMD’s policy initiatives in India, as Market Access director for the local business.
A SpaceX spokesman did not react to a question about Bhargava’s appointment in September, but the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, confirmed the news on Twitter over the weekend.
Starlink, one of the main businesses launching small satellites to establish a low-Earth orbiting network to deliver low-latency broadband internet services, aims to serve rural populations in India, Musk stated in a tweet, adding that “Sanjay deserves a lot of credit for making X/PayPal flourish.”
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According to industry estimates, hundreds of millions of Indians residing in rural areas do not have access to any broadband network.
“The government approval process is complex. So far there is no application pending with the government, so the ball is in our court to apply for consideration, which we are working on,” he said.
“Our approach will be to get pilot approval quickly if Pan India approval will take long. We are optimistic that we will get approval for a pilot program or Pan India approval in the next few months,” said Bhargava last month, adding that if it fails to get the government approval, the actual number of terminals it may end up deploying by the end of next year will be “much lower than that or even zero.”