SpaceX satellite Internet faces regulatory hurdles in Vietnam

U.S. aerospace company SpaceX can only launch its satellite Internet service Starlink in Vietnam if it ties up with a local partner, Vietnam’s Department of Telecommunications said.

SpaceX, owned by South African-American billionaire Elon Musk, recently announced that Starlink, now in its beta testing phase, would be launched in Vietnam next year and customers could preorder it for $99.

However, telecommunications and Internet companies are in the list of conditional businesses, which requires the foreign enterprises to partner with a Vietnamese enterprise that is licensed to provide telecom services or establish a joint venture.

According to the Department of Telecommunications, foreign enterprises are not allowed to independently provide internet and telecommunication services in Vietnam.

The Department of Telecommunications told VnExpress that the company has yet to apply to launch the service in Vietnam.

The department said prospective subscribers should consider carefully before making the pre-order since “it is unsure if Starlink can provide satellite Internet services in Vietnam.”

The pre-order is currently available in 15 countries, according to its website.

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