Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
Kakar Approves Plan to Bring PayPal and Starlink to Pakistan

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has given permission to the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) to launch Starlink Internet Services in Pakistan. However, the company has yet to fulfill all the necessary requirements and formalities as per the government’s policy directions.

Officials stated that law enforcement agencies are currently evaluating the new satellite technology implemented by Starlink in Low Earth Orbit. To date, no South Asian country has permitted Starlink to operate in its satellite space, and its technical features are still being evaluated.

In addition to Starlink, the Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr Umar Saif, claimed that Prime Minister Kakar also approved a plan to enhance exports and bring PayPal to Pakistan. The ministry is engaging with all stakeholders, including the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), to evaluate the technical details provided by Starlink.

Starlink’s business model includes payment of fees in USD and unique technology features such as laser usage for satellite-to-satellite communication and global roaming. These factors may conflict with the current regulatory regime in Pakistan, according to technical experts.

To operate in Pakistan, Starlink requires a license from the PTA, which will be granted after final approval by the government and in accordance with existing regulatory provisions. Starlink Internet Services Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd has applied for a Long Distance and International (LDI) license and Local Loop (LL) licenses for all telecom regions of Pakistan.

Unlike traditional satellites operating in Geostationary Orbit (GSO), Starlink satellites operate in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) between 250 and 500kms in altitude, providing low latency connectivity. They can communicate with multiple ground stations simultaneously and use laser technology for satellite-to-satellite connectivity.

Internet bandwidth is accessed through ground stations within the country and extended through Starlink, allowing for the provision of internet services to end-users in Pakistan.

Officials mentioned that this technology is still in its early stages and progress has been limited due to security concerns. SpaceX’s Starlink currently uses a beta version that is not fully secured.