Indian gov asks SpaceX's Starlink to refund all deposits for not obtaining a license

Asian Tech Press (Jan 05) -- SpaceX's satellite Internet subsidiary Starlink has notified its customers that the Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the company to refund all deposits on pre-orders until it receives a license to operate in the country.

Starlink Services has received over 5,000 pre-orders for equipment in India, with a target of 200,000 Starlink terminals by December 2022. But now, the company said in an email to customers that it "looks forward to launching Starlink in India as soon as possible." Still, it is not clear when the license will be granted. Several issues must be resolved within the licensing framework before Starlink services can begin operating in India. It also said that refunds would be given to customers who have made reservations.

Starlink plans to apply for a commercial license in India by the end of January this year, but in late November 2021, the Indian government ordered Starlink to stop "booking and providing satellite Internet services" in the country without obtaining a license. Also, on Tuesday, Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink's head in India, resigned as director and chairman of Starlink India's board of directors.

Recently, Starlink said more than 750,000 people worldwide had booked the service. The company reportedly plans to launch its latest Starlink satellites on Jan. 6.

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