Tech Billionaire, Elon Musk, announced that Starlink has received approval for operations in Nigeria, and Mozambique.
Musk made the announcement via a tweet on his verified Twitter handle. Few days ago, he had made a tweet promising to announce the African countries that would be the first recipients of Starlink satellite internet services.
Starlink is a company operated by SpaceX. It has a satellite internet constellation that provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet services to over 30 countries where it has been approved for operations.
As per Musk’s announcement, Starlink will now be able to deliver its internet services to people and businesses resident to Nigeria, and Mozambique, providing connections for online gaming, streaming, video calls, and other services that had earlier not been possible on satellite-based internet.
Confirming the announcement, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) said that Starlink got the International Gateway license, as well as the Internet Service Provide (ISP) license, and these would make it legal for the company to operate in Nigerian spaces.
“The company received two licenses, which include 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 is to last for five years. Both licenses take effect from May 2022 and may be renewed after the expiration.” NCC said.
Speaking on behalf of the Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, said:
“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the Commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest. We have listened to your presentation and we will review it vis-à-vis our regulatory direction of ensuring effective and a sustainable telecoms ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees.”
The move to launch Starlink internet services in Nigeria started last year May, when representatives of the company went to Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator, NCC, to discuss the intention of the company to provide internet services to Nigeria, and get licensed to operate.
With the license received, Starlink will join the league of ISPs in Nigeria, and compete with other bigwigs in the country like MTN, Airtel, Glo, Spectranet, and others. The move is believed by experts to put a jerk on the leading ISPs who have consistently received complaints about unimproved and expensive internet services.
Starlink got two licenses that would last for 10 years, and 5 years starting from May, 2022, and may be renewed upon expiration.
Mr Musk had earlier announced that Starlink has also been approved by the Philippines government for internet services. Starlink has also played key roles in the Russia-Ukraine war, where it provides satellite internet to the war-torn Ukraine.