On Tuesday, President of Elon Musk founded Starlink – president Gwynne Shotwel, said that the satellite internet company expects to be able to provide continuous global coverage by around September of this year if all regulatory approvals are acquired. Speaking via webcast at a Macquarie Group Technology conference, President Gwynne Shotwel said that “We’ve successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like the September time frame”.
Stating the only thing that may be an impediment she said, “but then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms services”. According to her, Starlink has plans to deploy nothing less than 12,000 satellites in total at a cost of about $10 billion, and already offers beta services in 11 countries across the globe.
Last month, Elon Musk revealed that Starlink’s low-Earth orbiting satellite network has gotten over 500,000 pre-orders for its internet services. He also mentioned that no technical problems serving this huge demand for Starlink’s services should arise. Starlink also got approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission this year to deploy some of its satellite at a lower earth orbit and plans to make available high-speed broadband services to areas lacking access.
Last month, US-based Starlink announced its partnership with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and also started the process of procuring necessary licenses to be able to fully launch the internet service in Nigeria. The company plans on providing Nigerians with high-speed broadband internet access. The development was revealed by SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa – Ryan Goodnight, in a meeting with NCC’s Executive Vice-chairman; Umar Danbatta. Both parties discussed the project’s prospects in a physical meeting, but before then had been various virtual meetings to discuss the proposal before this.
Starlink is one of the increasing numbers of small satellite makers. Other small satellite makers include Raytheon Technology Corp’s Blue Canyon, Amazon’s Kuiper, Britain’s OneWeb, etc. If everything goes as planned, Starlink’s satellite internet service would be available globally and countries like Nigeria with poor internet access would get to enjoy high-speed internet by the end of this year.