Elon Musk’s highly anticipated visit to India has just become more eventful with a crucial update regarding his satellite internet service, Starlink. Before setting foot on Indian soil, Musk’s venture has received preliminary approval from the Telecom Ministry, signaling exciting developments for broadband connectivity across the nation.

Approval Pending Final Checks

According to reports by TOI, Starlink’s application is currently under the scrutiny of Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Awaiting final security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the application deals with critical issues to ensure compliance with national security protocols.

Once all clearances are secured, Starlink will receive the essential ‘Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Service’ license needed to operate in India.

Adhering to Strict Guidelines

The initial review of Starlink’s application suggests that it complies with the application guidelines, covering aspects like net worth and foreign investments. Furthermore, the service has passed essential technical checks and has submitted an ownership declaration, ensuring all prerequisites for the licensing conditions are met.

Data Security for Indian Users

A major concern addressed in the application process is the ownership issue, with the Indian government ensuring that no stakeholders are from countries sharing a land border with India. Additionally, the Telecom Ministry has mandated that all KYC details and customer information of Indian users must not leave the country, safeguarding personal data against foreign surveillance or misuse.

Localized Data Management

The government requires an assurance that all traffic from Indian air and water space will only terminate at local gateways, meaning that satellite data beams should exclusively cater to Indian territories.

This measure is part of broader efforts to maintain data sovereignty and ensure that all satellite communications within India are securely managed and contained.

Musk’s Upcoming Visit

Elon Musk is expected to arrive in India on April 21st, with a planned two-day visit that includes a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This visit is poised to be a significant milestone for tech collaborations between Tesla/SpaceX and Indian entities, further strengthening bilateral relations in the technology sector.

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