By Muyiwa Adekojede
Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite Internet service, is poised for launch in Nigeria once it secures the licences from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
In a meeting on Friday with NCC’s Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), Umar Danbatta, SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, Ryan Goodnight announced SpaceX’s involvement, according to NCC.
The Starlink constellation is being powered by SpaceX, which was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk. The network will provide access to the Internet to approximately 3 billion people by 2021.
SpaceX in Africa reported in March 2021 that the company was initially planning to launch in Nigeria in late 2021, followed by Europe.
For $99 (37,670), you can pre-order the Starlink service, which will be available approximately I six months. The Starlink kit, includes a tripod, Wi-Fi router, and terminal with a cost of $499 (190,000).
The NCC granted SpaceX a Landing Permit for its full constellation of 4,408 spacecraft on the basis of 893 satellites launched at the time of the licence approval. The Landing Permit will be subject to review once all 4,408 satellites are launched.
According to the NCC statement, almost all Starlink satellites can beam signals to Nigeria. Several Starlink satellites orbited Nigeria and other African countries at different hours. The three satellites that have shown signal include 46078, 44282, and 46133.
The NCC and SpaceX have been corresponding virtually for several months, and both parties finally agreed to meet in person to discuss the project’s prospects in Nigeria.
SpaceX’s proposal is to be decided in accordance with the NCC’s statutory mandate to promote healthy competition among telecoms in Nigeria.
Starlink’s technologies might help the Nigerian government reach its goal of connecting 90% of its population to the internet by 2025, despite cost concerns.