The aerospace company owned by Elon Musk – SpaceX, urged the Indian Government to seek approvals for satellite broadband technologies. This is aimed at expanding SpaceX’s satellite Internet constellation Starlink in India.
SpaceX with a filing submitted with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), expressed its urge for launching Starlink in the country.
Replying to a TRAI consultation paper, Patricia Cooper, SpaceX Vice President for Satellite Government Affairs said that new technologies like Startlink might require consideration of updated rules, policies, and regulation and recommended suggestions including the encouragement of technology-neutral broadband definitions and assigning already-allocation frequencies for the use of satellite systems.
The company asked for “blanket licensing” to allow multiple identical satellite terminals for broadband connectivity and urged utilisation of Ka-band frequencies that is used by fixed satellite services systems including Starlink, in the filling, and also asked for the regulator to consider the potential of satellite operations in V- and E-band frequencies.
“Starlink’s high-capacity, high-speed, low-latency 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”, Cooper added in the filing.
“SpaceX’s solution would get rid of many of the high-costs associated with traditional wired broadband. SpaceX does not require expensive ‘last-mile’ fiber lines in order to deliver reliable high-speed broadband. In fact, the ‘last-mile’ for SpaceX’s Starlink satellite system consists of the Ku-band connection from the consumer’s home directly to a satellite in orbit, entirely eliminating the largest cost inhibitor to near-term universal broadband coverage in India” it read further.
The aim for launching a vast constellation of mass-produced satellites into low-altitude orbit will be done by offering satellite internet to the entire planet, including remote locations where internet isn’t currently available, in the year 2021.
In a whole SpaceX’s responses to TRAI urges India on encouraging technology-neutral broadband definitions that reflect the advances of next-generation satellite services; extend blanket licensing tools to support the wide-spread availability of satellite user terminals; safeguard ongoing satellite innovation in higher frequency bands; and, consider the unintended fees, taxes and other administrative burdens that, when passed on to end-users, can make broadband unaffordable to many.
Along with SpaceX, competitor Amazon also aims at sending hundreds even more of small satellites into orbit and these mega-constellations of flying routers could drape almost the entire planet in an invisible blanket of broadband connectivity.