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Musk’s SpaceX Forms Indian Subsidiary, Set To Start Business

Starlink, the satellite internet company set up by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, registered its business in India on Monday. It is working with a local think tank to identify districts for initial deployment

China's defence community is concerned at Elon Musk's plan to increase the network to 42,000 satellites from 12,000. Photo: Reuters.


Starlink, the satellite internet company set up by billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, registered its business in India on Monday as it gears up to launch internet services in the fastest growing internet market, country director Sanjay Bhargava said in a LinkedIn post.

“Pleased to share that SpaceX now has a 100% owned subsidiary in India. We can now start applying for licenses, open bank accounts, etc,” Bhargava said.

The new subsidiary, Starlink Satellite Communications Pvte Ltd, was required under local laws on the provision of internet services in India.

Starlink plans to offer 200,000 active terminals in over 160,000 districts by December 2022, the company said.

Bhargava, a former PayPal executive who started in the new role at the beginning of October, has hired key executives in India already.

The announcement comes just a few days after Elon Musk praised Sanjay Bhargava – “for making X/PayPal succeed. Now helping SpaceX serve rural communities in India. Much respect,” in a Tweet.

“At Starlink, we want to serve the underserved. We hope to work with fellow broadband providers, solution providers in the aspirational districts to improve and save lives,” Bhargava said in another LinkedIn post.



Initial Deployment

The company said on the weekend that it was also working with Niti Aayog, a powerful Indian think tank, to identify 12 districts in the country for Starlink’s initial deployment.

While more than half a billion people have gone online in India, just as many are still offline, according to industry estimates. A vast number – over half the 1.4-billion population – still have no access to a broadband network.

Starlink plans to “carry on the business of telecommunication services” including satellite broadband internet services, content storage and streaming, multi-media communication, among others, according to the company filing.

It will also deal in devices such as satellite phones, network equipment, wired and wireless communication devices, as well as data transmission and reception equipment.

However, Starlink is expected to face stiff compete from Amazon.com’s Kuiper and OneWeb – co-owned by the British government, and India’s Bharti Enterprises – that are also gearing up to offer satellite internet services in the country, soon.


• By Indrajit Basu.




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Indrajit Basu

Indrajit Basu is an India-based correspondent for Asia Financial and wears two hats: journalist and researcher (equity). Before joining AF he reported on business, finance, technology, wealth management, and current affairs for China Daily, SCMP, UPI, India Today Group, Indian Express Group, and many more. He is also an award-winning researcher. If he didn't have to pay bills, he would be a wanderer.


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