ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday officially informed the general public that Elon Musk’s satellite broadband provider Starlink, has neither applied for nor obtained any license from PTA to operate and provide internet services in Pakistan.
PTA in a statement advised the general public to refrain from placing any pre-booking orders on Starlink’s or any of its associated websites.
The directions came in the wake of reports that Starlink, through its website, is asking prospective subscribers to pay a deposit of $99 (refundable) as a pre-order for equipment/services, said PTA.
According to PTA, the authority has already taken up the matter with Starlink asking it to stop taking pre-order bookings from prospective Pakistani consumers with immediate effect as the company has not been granted any license for providing internet facilities in Pakistan.
Earlier a delegation of the US-based global satellite broadband provider, Starlink, consisting of Director Middle East & Asia Ryan Goodnight and Head of Global Site Acquisition Ben Macwilliam, had called on the Minister of IT & Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque, to discuss the policy and operation model and had later reportedly announced that it will open its office in Pakistan.
Starlink, the brainchild of American entrepreneur Elon Musk, aims to deliver high speed internet to every part of the globe. The company has a special focus towards elevating connectivity in rural areas while at the same time providing an alternative to the cumbersome task of laying down a fiber network.
The company, as of now, has delivered around 2,000 satellites into Earth’s orbit which serve a customer base of more than 10,000 spread across 14 countries. While the company looks to expand in other countries, competitors have been quick to step in through lobbying with the different governments.