(Ecofin Agency) - Starlink’s commercial services are already operational in five African countries: Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya, and Malawi. The firm intends to cover 23 more countries across the continent by the end of the year.
Paratus, the Pan-African broadband connectivity provider has signed a distribution agreement with US company Starlink. According to the deal, which Paratus announced last Friday, September 22, the African firm will provide its customers with Starlink's satellite broadband Internet services as soon as they are available across the continent.
This partnership will accelerate Starlink’s adoption in Africa, in line with SpaceX's ambition to make broadband universal. This includes remote and landlocked areas which are difficult to access for mobile operators' terrestrial networks. Already, Starlink has deployed its commercial services in five African countries: Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Malawi. Before the year ends, 23 more African countries should follow, according to the firm’s launch schedule.
The agreement with Starlink feeds Paratus’ goal of doubling its revenues over the next few years. "This means we can offer industry sectors - such as onshore and offshore energy, mining, hospitality, education, healthcare, agriculture, and more - the reliable and consistent connectivity they need to thrive, no matter how remote," said Martin Cox, Paratus Group Commercial Director.
The collaboration between Paratus and Starlink is expected to boost competition in Africa’s Internet market and allow millions more people to have access to the technology.
In the 2023 edition of its annual report "The Mobile Economy", the Global System Operators Association (GSMA) reports that only 23% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa was using mobile Internet in 2022. The same report indicates that 60% of the population lived in areas covered by networks, but had no access to mobile Internet, while 23% of the population is not covered at all by mobile Internet services.
Isaac K. Kassouwi