Elon Musk founded space company SpaceX, has plans of launching its internet service; Starlink in Nigeria. The news of Starlink launching in Nigeria has raised a lot of interest since it was announced. Starlink is a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX to provide satellite internet access.
The US-based company announced its partnership with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and has started the process of procuring necessary licenses to be able to fully launch the internet service in Nigeria.
The recent development was revealed by Ryan Goodnight; SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, in a meeting with NCC’s Executive Vice-chairman; Umar Danbatta. Both parties discussed the project’s prospects in a physical meeting that took place on Friday. There had been various virtual meetings to discuss the proposal before this.
The NCC stated that it has taken SpaceX’s proposal into account and that whatever decision that is made with regards to the proposal will be in line with its regulatory duties to ensure that the competition among telecom companies in Nigeria remains healthy.
“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest”, the commission stated.
In a virtual training conference that took place in February of this year, The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy unveiled the new plan for Nigeria’s broadband for 2020-2025. According to him, Nigeria’s broadband for 2020-2025 will have download speed targets of a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas and 10Mbps in rural areas. The new plan also promises to have an effective coverage that would be available to at least 90 percent of the country’s population by 2025 and at a price that doesn’t exceed 390 Naira for 1GB of data.
The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that SpaceX‘s Starlink could be one of the ways of achieving the Federal Government’s plan of reaching 90 percent of the country’s population by 2025.
Nigeria seems to be taking steps to improve its communications infrastructure. A deal with Microsoft was announced by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo just a few days ago. The partnership is geared towards providing rural areas with internet connectivity through Microsoft’s Airband Initiative.