SpaceX subsidiary Starlink has been awarded a license to provide Qatar with satellite broadband.
Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) has issued an individual license for the provision of public satellite telecommunications networks and services to Starlink Satellite Qatar.
According to The Peninsula, the license was awarded by Mohammed bin Ali Al-Mannai, who is the minister of communications and IT in Qatar.
Starlink Satellite Qatar recently launched in Qatar and is a division of Elon Musk's SpaceX business.
The authorization of the license will enable Starlink Satellite Qatar to provide satellite broadband Internet services to Qatar via the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation of SpaceX.
Consumers and businesses will be supported by the satellites, with Starlink offering a B2B offering called 'Starlink Premium' which the company claims can enable download speeds of between 150Mbps to 500Mbps and latency of 20ms-40ms.
It is expected to deliver mobile connectivity to remote areas of Qatar, such as offshore zones for oil and gas platforms, sea vessels, and aircraft. It's also expected to provide backup power in case of outages.
In August SpaceX and T-Mobile announced plans to provide mobile signal connectivity from space with the target of leaving no area without coverage in the US, with SpaceX providing the signal through the company's Starlink satellites, with speeds of around 2-4Mbps.
Starlink has also outlined plans to provide connectivity to remote areas of the Philippines with its satellite-based Internet service by mid-2023. The subsidiary is readying itself for commercial launch in the Philippines by the end of this year.
Starlink is aiming to serve remote villages and rural areas that have little to no Internet access, with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) working with Starlink to provide a complimentary service for those already served by other telcos.
In June, Starlink regained permission to operate in France after being stripped of its spectrum licenses for a period.
Elsewhere, Lynk was recently granted a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license to operate its satellite-based direct-to-mobile service.
Lynk specializes in deploying low-earth orbiting satellites and deployed its first satellite, the Lynk Tower 1 satellite into space earlier this year. It was its first spacecraft covered by an FCC license to operate a satellite direct-to-phone service.
AST SpaceMobile is also developing its own constellation of direct-to-mobile satellite communication satellites. It has agreements with the likes of Vodafone and AT&T.