Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk in a tweet on May 27th confirmed that his satellite internet service, Starlink, has been approved in Nigeria and Mozambique: the first two countries to approve the service in Africa.
Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, Musk’s space exploration, manufacturing and communications company, provides high-speed, low latency broadband internet to over 30 countries where it has a licence to operate. SpaceX’s Twitter account stated that Starlink’s regulatory approvals mean the low Earth orbit network “is now licensed on all seven continents.”
This means that if you’re in a rural area, you will enjoy similar or even faster internet speeds than people in major cities around the world as long as you have a clear view of the sky because the internet is transmitted directly from space rather than fibres.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that the company received “the International Gateway license and Internet Service Provider license, and will be trading as Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd.” Starlink’s license as an internet service provider (ISP), brings much-needed competition to popular ISPs like Spectranet and Smile, and Nigerian telecom operators such as MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile.
The coming of Starlink is expected to boost the Federal Government’s efforts, as enshrined in the National Broadband Plan 2020 to 2025, to reach 70 percent broadband penetration, covering 90 percent of the population by 2025.
Since the announcement, many people have expressed concerns about Starlink’s prices, especially as it plans to provide high-speed internet to rural areas.
Starlink costs $110 (~₦60,500) for preorder — also its monthly price — and $599 (~₦330,000) for a full kit. Its premium service costs about $2,500 (~₦1.375 million) for the full kit and $500 (~₦275,000) monthly. Nigeria’s average monthly data subscription fee is $50 (₦20,761), per TechCabal.