Telecom

Nigeria: Starlink to commence commercial operations next month

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 14:50
Nigeria: Starlink to commence commercial operations next month

(Ecofin Agency) - Nigeria is the largest telecommunications market in Africa. Its market potential attracts foreign investors amid strong demand for high-speed connectivity and the acceleration of digital transformation.

U.S SpaceX’s Starlink satellite Internet network will officially launch operations in Nigeria next August. The information was disclosed by Elon Musk in a Twitter post published last Sunday, July 24.  

Subscription to its satellite internet services requires the acquisition of a starter kit and monthly subscriptions whose values are yet to be disclosed. According to the company’s website, in Nigeria, the starter kit will cost US$99, which is significantly lower than the US$599 Space X sells its starter kits in the U.S., where its monthly subscription costs US$110. 

Starlink started prospecting the Nigerian telecom market in May 2021, in the framework of its African expansion plan, amid growing demand for high-speed connectivity. It also targeted South Africa and Zimbabwe, among other markets.  

One year later, it struck an agreement with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which awarded it two licenses. Notably, it received an international gateway license and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) license for 10 years and five years respectively. The licenses allow it to provide high-speed Internet connectivity through its over 2,000-satellite constellation orbiting the Earth.

With the official launch of its operations in Nigeria, Starlink will allow broadband access to every Nigerian,  even those living in the most remote and landlocked areas. The company is also expected to contribute to the Nigerian government's goal of covering 90% of the country with broadband by 2025 as part of its digital transformation plan. However, this ambition could be slowed down by the cost of services, which is out of reach for the average Nigerian, especially if they live in rural areas. 

Isaac K. Kassouwi





 
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