Guess who is in the news again? While we are yet to recover from the fact that he now runs Twitter. Elon Musk is currently making news in Africa.
Telecommunication giants in Africa are intensifying efforts, solidifying their market forces, and as well getting prepared for what is coming.
Elon Musk the billionaire tech enthusiast on Friday tweeted that Starlink, the satellite internet service launched by SpaceX, his space exploration company has been approved to begin operations in Nigeria and Mozambique.
Starlink approved by Nigeria and Mozambique” Musk tweets.
“The company received two licenses, including the International Gateway license and Internet Service Provider (ISP) license, and will be trading as Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd. According to NCC, the International Gateway license has a 10-year tenure while the ISP license will last for five years. Both licenses take effect from May 2022 and may be renewed after the expiration,” according to Nairametrics.
Starlink is a low latency broadband internet system designed to meet the needs of consumers scattered in communities with low internet penetration across the globe.
It was designed to have the capacity of delivering up 150Mbps internet speeds to anywhere around the globe. All that is required is a clear view of the sky.
Starlink hits Africa just three days after Musk replied with a tweet about the service launch in Africa.
“Yes, first countries in Africa to be announced coming soon,” he tweeted. “Starlink will serve everywhere on Earth that we’re legally allowed to serve.”
Its launch in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, has been a work in progress since 2021. In May 2021, SpaceX sent some delegates to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecommunications regulator, to discuss the possibility of obtaining a license to operate Starlink in Nigeria.
How Will Starlink Work In Nigeria?
Nigerian telecommunication space over the last decade has been dominated by telecoms such as MTN and Airtel, with the likes of Glo and 9mobile joining much later. The Internet Service Providers on the other hand have been chaired by household names like Spectranet, SMILE and others.
The average internet plan in Nigeria is about $50, compared to Starlink, we will likely be having something more expensive. About $599 (#330,000) for a full kit, which includes a terminal, a mounting tripod, and a Wi-Fi router, then a $110 (#60,500) for preorder and monthly subscription. Its premium service is set to cost about $2,500 (#1.375 million) for the full kit and $500 (#275,000) monthly.
Look at these price ranges, it will be rather too expensive for the average Nigerian to keep, except it has plans to introduce an offering tailored for the Nigerian Market.
Let us keep our fingers crossed and see how everything unfolds in the coming days. One thing is sure, Nigerians will already tilt to an affordable, reliable, consistent and customer-driven platform.