The world’s richest person, Elon Musk, is interested in launching high-speed internet services through Starlink in India. However, he is facing strong opposition from Mukesh Ambani’s telecom company, Reliance Jio. After a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, Musk had said that he wants to launch Starlink’s internet service in the country. He stated that it would help bring internet access to remote areas.
However, Musk did not provide any information about the conflict with Reliance Jio regarding the spectrum auction for this service. Starlink wants the central government to refrain from conducting a spectrum auction and instead issue licenses to start the service, similar to other countries. The company believes that it is a natural resource and should be shared among companies. Starlink argues that the auction may impose geographical limitations, leading to increased costs. However, Reliance Jio does not agree with this stance. The company has demanded that the government conduct the spectrum auction through a letter it sent.
Reliance Jio states that foreign satellite service providers can offer voice and data services, which could pose difficulties for the country’s telecom companies. Therefore, the company has demanded the auction to ensure a level playing field. An industry source familiar with this matter stated that Reliance will continue to put pressure on the government regarding the auction of satellite spectrum.
Starlink had already provided satellite internet services to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian attack last year. The main company of Starlink spent a large amount of money to provide free satellite internet services to Ukraine. Musk is also the CEO of Tesla, an electric car manufacturer, and the chief of the microblogging platform Twitter. Tesla has plans to establish a factory in India for manufacturing electric cars. Recently, senior executives of the company had a meeting with officials from the central government regarding this matter. Last year, Musk had requested the government to reduce duties on imported cars, but the request was denied by the government.