In preparation for the launch of its high-speed Starlink satellite broadband services in India, SpaceX is planning to partner with Indian companies to manufacture satellite communications equipment locally, including antennas and terminal devices.
The announcement was made after the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) meeting with global satellite companies to discuss a comprehensive roadmap for locally manufacturing satellite communications gear and ways to create an enabling regulatory regime for low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation operators to establish in-country gateways in India.
The meeting was attended by OneWeb, Viasat, Hughes, Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, the Department of Space, and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
SpaceX has been accepting pre-orders for the beta version of its Starlink satellite internet service in India for a fully refundable deposit of $99. The company’s satellite broadband services are being targeted in India in 2022, although availability is subject to regulatory approvals.
During the meeting, satellite companies strongly discouraged the Indian government from auctioning mmWave satellite spectrum in the 28 GHz band for 5G mobile services, saying such a move would impact their data download speeds and geographical reach in India.