(Ecofin Agency) - Since 2020, demand for internet connection is booming in Africa, due notably to the coronavirus pandemic and new digital uses. To meet the demand, which is likely to continue in the next few years, new investors are positioning themselves.
Nigeria authorized Elon Musk’s satellite internet constellation Starlink to offer satellite internet services in the country. The news was disclosed by Elon Musk himself on his Twitter account last Friday.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Starlink was granted two licenses [a 10-year international gateway license and a 5-year internet service provider license] that will be exploited under the commercial name Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd. Starlink will exploit the licenses to provide high-speed internet through its constellation of about 2,000 satellites.
Starlink initiated actions for the Nigerian telecom market, in May 2021, as part of its expansion into Africa, where demand for broadband connectivity has accelerated, notably because of Covid-19. Three months ago, the internet service provider received its ISP license in Mozambique.
The licenses granted by Nigeria allow Starlink entrance into Africa’s largest telecom market, where the satellite internet segment is highly disputed by notable companies like Intelsat, Eutelsat, Avanti, Yahsat, NSS New Skies, and OneWeb. It is expected to provide broadband internet to Nigerians, even those living in remote and isolated areas. Doing so, will contribute to the Nigerian government’s target, which is to cover 90% of the country with broadband internet by 2025 for effective digital transformation.
Isaac K. Kassouwi