Elon Musk’s Starlink coming to Nigeria

Nigeria May have a reason to save face after Twitter chose Ghana as its African headquarters as SpaceX announces that they are working on bringing their Starlink satellite internet to Nigeria.

Mr Ryan Goodnight, SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, disclosed this during a meeting with the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, in Abuja on Friday, 9th May 2021. The meeting was a research on the possibility of obtaining the required licenses for the satellite internet company to bring Starlink broadband services to Nigeria.

The American space company founded by Elon Musk is set to launch a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites which will provide faster data delivery and allow a large amount of data to be transferred over the Internet to all corners of the world.

Many telecom providers still struggle with the Right of Way (RoW) in many states, so Starlink’s low latency, high capacity satellite internet may be the alternative for the underserved across various State in the country. The NCC, on the other hand, urged SpaceX’s representatives to make sure their model fosters healthy competition among the country’s other licensed telecom operators.

In this regard, they said:

We listened to SpaceX’s presentation and will evaluate it in light of the regulatory direction of maintaining an efficient and competitive telecoms environment in which other telecoms players that are already licensed and operating can prosper, even with emerging technologies from a new licensee.

As the regulator of a highly competitive sector in Nigeria, the commission recognizes the importance of ensuring that our regulatory decisions are grounded in national interests.

About SpaceX

Elon Musk founded SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation provider, in 2002. They aimed to encourage Mars colonization by lowering the cost of space transportation.

Starlink is a satellite that provides internet service(s), which was produced and launched by SpaceX to expand internet access to people in remote and underserved areas around the world. Starlink satellites are extremely small, but they are more than 60 times closer to Earth than regular satellites.

This is why they can achieve the goal of providing higher-speed networks and still allowing devices that do not connect to the internet through conventional satellites to do so. SpaceX was confirmed to be delivering six satellites a day in March 2020.

Today, there are about 1,500 Starlink satellites in orbit with over 24 launched in 2020 alone. In 2021, the company has launched 610 satellites into orbit and is now looking to increase the number of its satellites to 2,814 as the American communications regulators have approved a license modification for SpaceX in April.

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