Looks like Elon’s cheap internet plans aren’t working for some South Asian economies.
Elon Musk’s satellite broadband firm Starlink has neither applied for nor received any license from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to operate and deliver internet services in Pakistan, the PTA announced. In a statement, the PTA recommended the public to avoid placing any pre-booking orders on Starlink’s or any of its affiliated websites.
According to PTA, the instructions came in response to reports that Starlink is soliciting prospective subscribers to submit a $99 (refundable) deposit as a pre-order for equipment/services via its website.
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According to the PTA, the authority has already taken up the matter with Starlink, requesting that it immediately cease soliciting pre-order bookings from potential Pakistani customers, as the firm has been denied a license to provide internet services in Pakistan.
Earlier this month, a delegation from Starlink, a US-based global satellite broadband provider, including Director Middle East & Asia Ryan Goodnight and Head of Global Site Acquisition Ben Macwilliam, met with Minister of IT & Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque to discuss policy and operations, and later announced that it would open an office in Pakistan.
Starlink, founded by American entrepreneur Elon Musk, intends to bring high-speed internet to every corner of the earth. The organization is particularly interested in improving connections in rural areas while also providing an alternative to the time-consuming task of laying down a fiber network.
As of today, the company has launched over 2,000 satellites into Earth’s orbit, serving a customer base of over 10,000 people in 14 nations. While the corporation seeks to grow into new markets, competitors have been quick to intervene by lobbying various governments.