From all indications, billionaire, Elon Musk’s Starlink will fight for its share of the Nigerian internet space by solidifying its presence in the country before the end of 2022.
This development was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, at the recently held US-Space Forum during the just concluded US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington.
According to Pantami, Space X, the satellite company owned by the Twitter owner, Elon Musk, will launch Starlink Internet Services in Nigeria before the end of this year.
In addition to the internet services launched by Starlink, the FG has also entered into a partnership with Space X for the delivery of broadband services across Nigeria.
This comes seven months after the apex regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC approved the Internet company’s license.
Available records reveal Starlink received two licences – the international gateway licence and Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence and will commence business in Nigeria under the trade name – Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd.
The NCC further stated that the international gateway licence has a 10-year tenure, while the ISP licence is to last for five years and both licences had already taken effect from May 2022.
According to Pantami, “As part of the partnership, Space X is to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria, enabling nationwide access to broadband connectivity way ahead of the December 2025 schedule, as outlined in our National Broadband Plan. With this collaboration with SpaceX’s Starlink, Nigeria is set to be the 1st African country to introduce the service.”
Space X had initially confirmed it will roll out its services in Nigeria from Q3 2022 but had later announced the date will not be feasible as it cited regulatory issues.
The organization had further moved its rollout date to Q4 2022.
While announcing the partnership, Pantami noted that Space X will be acting as a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Operator in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector.