Elon Musk’s SpaceX is all set to start its satellite internet service, Starlink in India by 2022. The SpaceX’s website has set down various Indian locations to provide its services. The website also allows for pre-book the services for Indian users at a refundable amount of $99 which in Rs amounts to 7,000.
Starlink is a collection of small internet satellites that orbit closer to the earth’s surface (at an altitude of 550km) compared to large navigation and communication satellites which operate from medium earth orbit of 2,000 km to 35,000 km or the satellites in geosynchronous orbit, which operate from beyond 35,000 km. As there is a lesser distance between the earth’s orbit and the Starlink, it will reduce the latency and interference and would result in better internet service.
Normal broadband services have average latencies of 594 to 612 ms but SpaceX claims to have just 20 to 40ms. US has already started testing Starlink’s internet service with speed of 150Mbps.
To get the service one needs to have Starlink kit which consists of a terminal, router and mounting tripod to connect to satellites.
The aerospace also assures that the data speed and latency will further improve by upgrading the software, launching more satellites. The company plans to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites and has already placed over 1,000 of them in space.
This Satellite internet has a good scope in India as it overcome all the geographical areas and reach out the remotest areas where even tower network fails to reach.
The data of World Economic Forum (WEF) for August 2020, shows that India’s 50 percent of population have no internet access whereas only 14 percent have no internet connection in US. India is the fastest growing market in terms of internet access as the WEF data between 2019-2020 shows that internet users in India increased by 23%.
Apart from SpaceX, Hughes India which is a subsidiary of Hughes Network Systems has also partnered with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to provide internet services in various parts of India that include Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Ladakh, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram.
Even the Bharti Airtel is also planning to start its satellite internet services using OneWeb’s LEO constellation of internet satellites by 2022.