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Elon Musk’s Starlink Offers Cheaper Satellite Internet for India: 5 Facts to Know

The internet division of Elon Musk-led SpaceX, Starlink has opened pre-bookings for satellite broadband services in India. Here’s what you need to know.

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The internet has become an inseparable part of our lives. We are constantly in search of a better network with higher speed and lesser rates.

And the satellite internet division of Elon Musk’s company SpaceX called Starlink, might be the answer. Focusing on rural areas, the company is going to offer its services in the Indian market at lower prices than the international market, LiveMint reported.

But what exactly is satellite internet? And how does it work?

1. What is Satellite Internet?

Unlike the existing connections, satellite internet does not require any cables. There are multiple satellites orbiting in space, where the internet will be beamed from.

A satellite dish and a modem are to be installed to avail this service. Radio signals travel from our device, to the modem, to the dish, to space and come back to Earth. It reaches ground stations on Earth called the Network Operations Centres (NOC) and back to our devices.

2. Benefits of Satellite Internet

Satellite internet has the capability to reach remote and rural areas where cables can’t reach.

Additionally, Elon Musk has projected subsidised rates to Indian customers.

SpaceX started taking bookings for the Starlink service in India earlier this year. Buyers had to pay a deposit of Rs 7,500. As part of the package, Starlink will provide a dish satellite, a receiver, and all the equipment required for setting it up.

3. Speedy Internet

Starlink will offer a latency between 20-40 milliseconds and speeds may vary from 100 Mbps to 150 Mbps speed.

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4. Limitations

The limitations of satellite internet include changes in weather conditions that will affect the connection.

Moreover, installation charges are higher than normal connections.

Starlink India Director Sanjay Bhargava mentioned in an interview that the service is expensive and if the same costs were passed on to customers, it would be unaffordable.

5. Rural Connect

Bhargava also added that Starlink will provide 100 devices to schools for free, with 20 of them distributed in Delhi schools and the rest 80 in rural areas around Delhi.

Starlink is in a testing phase in many parts of the world. India expects its arrival by mid-2022. By the end of next year, the company plans to operate at least 200,000 Starlink devices, 80 per cent of which will be in rural areas.

Other than Starlink, Bharti Airtel has declared their entry into satellite internet next year.

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

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