(Ecofin Agency) - US company SpaceX, which initiated the Starlink project –the satellite constellation intended to bring high speed connectivity across the planet- is negotiating an Internet Service Provider license in Nigeria. On May 7, Ryan Goodnight, Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, met up with Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, to discuss the matter.
Starlink seeks, through the license, to offer its services via satellite in Nigeria. The company would then join the highly competitive satellite connectivity segment, already operated by many companies including Intelsat, Eutelsat, Avanti, Yahsat, NSS New Skies, the British subsidiary of SES, Inmarsat, Iridium, and OneWeb.
SpaceX's ambition in Nigeria is part of its African strategy, initiated in South Africa last February. The company is in discussions with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to provide satellite connectivity in the country as early as next year. In total, SpaceX has launched nearly 1,500 non-geostationary satellites into low Earth orbit.
Currently, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest telecom market. By improving access to high-speed connectivity, the American company will be able to guarantee substantial financial revenues. People’s living conditions will also be improved. SpaceX's investment will contribute to achieving the Nigerian government’s goal of covering 90% of the national territory with broadband by 2025. Nigeria wants to make the Internet a key driver of its human, social and economic development.