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Elon Musk’s Starlink India Launch Hits An Unforeseen Roadblock

Starlink, the SpaceX-operated satellite internet service has hit a major snag in its attempts to enter the lucrative Indian market following the recent resignation of the company’s top-level executive.

Sanjay Bhargava, who presided as the Head of Starlink India’s operation, announced in a recent LinkedIn post that he had stepped down from the company late last year.

Bhargava’s resignation came as a shock as he had just taken up the role of Country Director and Chairman of the Board of Starlink India three months prior. In his LinkedIn post, he stated that he was quitting for personal reasons.

“I have stepped down as Country Director and Chairman of the Board of Starlink India for personal reasons. My last working day was December 31, 2021. I will have no comments for individuals and media so please respect my privacy.”

Bhargava’s resignation comes closely after the company’s failed attempts at joining the Indian market. Few weeks before, Starlink was hit with a massive complication when India’s Department of Telecommunications reprimanded them for advertising and allowing pre-orders without applying for a license to provide satellite-based internet services.

This caused Starlink India to refund over 5,000 pre-orders the company had received worth $99 each from customers who were quite excited about the new service.

Starlink is one of the few companies that will launch their own internet service by using a constellation of low orbit satellites. With such technology, it can provide services in regions where internet infrastructure isn’t quite up to par.

In a country with over a billion people to offer its services to, Starlink India has major aspirations to tap into a humongous market along with the likes of Amazon’s Kuiper and OneWeb. However, without a license, it seems like their plans are on hold for a while.

Earlier on, Sanjay Bhargava had mentioned that Starlink India was aiming to provide 200,000 devices in India by December 2022 with their services beginning in April.

However, with the departure of Bhargava and Starlink India finding huge complications in their attempts to gain a license from the Department of Telecommunications, it looks like Elon Musk’s plans to expand its internet division in India will take much longer than expected.

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