Starlink will gradually be deployed on the African continent. This is at least what Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet published last Tuesday. The businessman indicated that his satellite internet service, launched through SpaceX, his space exploration company, would go to serve anywhere in the world where it is legally allowed to do so.
He then specified that Africa was among the continents soon to be concerned … and indeed: three days later, he returned to the charge (still on Twitter) to specify that Nigeria and Mozambique had both given their approval for the launch of Starlink on their respective territories. Other African countries, including South Africa, should follow suit in 2022.
Starlink: an expensive service for Nigerian and Mozambican users
As TechCrunch points out, the agreement reached with the Nigerian authorities follows negotiations that began in 2021. We finally learn that in May, SpaceX had finally sent representatives to the NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission) to discuss obtaining a license for Starlink in the country.
Successful negotiations if we believe the local press, which confirmed Elon Musk’s statements. We learn that the license granted to Starlink by the NCC covers a period of 10 years and that it falls into the category of Internet Service Providers (ISP).
Starlink, which currently operates in about 30 countries, is expected to bring more competition to the Nigerian Internet access market. Currently MTN and Airtel are among the main local ISPs, but their competition has not resulted in a convincing improvement of the local Internet connection. This could change with the arrival of Starlink… even if Elon Musk’s service will suffer from a big handicap: its price… probably too high for the average user in Nigeria or Mozambique.