PTA not giving license to Elon Musk’s Starlink due to data security, business model and technical arrangements
Starlink's services' price will be higher than other internet service providers in Pakistan.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has not given Elon Musk’s Starlink license to operate in Pakistan.
According to the discussions with relevant stakeholders, data security isn’t just the only concern with Starlink’s operations in Pakistan, the business model and technical arrangements are also stopping Starlink from getting the license.
PTA not giving Starlink permission to operate in Pakistan
The telecom regulator is in continuous engagement with the Satellite Service providers to ensure that the services of Starlink will be in conformity with the applicable Licensing regime. This would ensure quality services to the users and protect the rights of those operators that are already licensed in the country.
PTA sources have said that the expected price of the device of Starlink to access the network is approximately $700 and the company will charge a subscription of $100 for a 100 Mbps internet connection package. So, the device’s cost will be around Rs200,000 with a monthly package of Rs28,000. Starlink’s services’ price will be higher than other internet service providers in Pakistan. The way you will pay for the internet is through credit cards, but this will also be complicated for Pakistanis who are living in far-flung areas and don’t have such financial services.
The telecom regulator is analyzing the regional countries, which have strict Satellite Regulations and have not awarded licenses to Starlink because of similar concerns. However, discussions with the company are still ongoing, and efforts will be made on both sides to ensure that Starlink abides by all formalities for the grant of License in a transparent manner. PTA officials have remarked that all relevant stakeholders are taken on board, including MOIT to analyze the impact of utilizing Spectrum in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and stopped the company from booking device orders from Pakistani customers through credit cards.
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