Malaysia issues license to Musk’s Starlink to bring internet services to remote areas


KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 (Reuters) – Malaysia has issued a license to Starlink, the satellite communications service started by Elon Musk, to provide internet services in the country, particularly in remote areas, its communications minister said on Thursday.

Minister Fahmi Fadzil said in a Facebook post that Starlink, which is operated by Musk’s SpaceX, would begin by providing its services to schools and higher education institutions.

The government was also prepared to work with satellite communications firms, including Starlink, to ensure 100 percent internet coverage in populated areas, Fahmi said.

Around three percent of populated areas in Malaysia face issues with internet access, due to geographical and infrastructure challenges, he added.

The announcement comes a week after Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim held a call with Musk to discuss his companies investing in Malaysia.

The government earlier this year announced that his electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla (TSLA.O) would open an office in Malaysia. It also approved the company’s application to import battery-run EVs into the country, as part of a wider government effort to promote sustainable mobility.

Separately on Thursday, Tesla unveiled its sport utility electric vehicle – Model Y – at an event in Kuala Lumpur, with deliveries to Malaysia to begin next year.

The rear-wheel drive model has a starting price of 199,000 ringgit ($43,765.12), Tesla said in a statement.

($1 = 4.5470 ringgit)

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Additional reporting by Hasnoor Hussain; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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