If all goes according to plan, Nigeria could be on the verge of enjoying the benefits of space internet technology.
SpaceX – an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company – has been discussing with the federal government to acquire the licenses to launch internet services Starlink.
It is owned by tech billionaire Elon Musk.
To make this quest a reality, SpaceX officials met with the management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja.
At the meeting, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said in the light of disruption in the technology world, it is keen on balancing healthy competition with entry of disruptive technologies to ensure sustainable telecoms industry growth and development in Nigeria.
The Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, who stood in for the EVC, said NCC will work on necessary modalities to ensure that it balances the need for healthy competition vis-a-vis the entry of new technologies, in order to protect all industry stakeholders.
“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.”Ubale Maseka, Executive Commissioner, NCC Technical Services
The planned roll-out of the space internet would help consolidate the government’s planned target of 70 per cent broadband penetration target, covering 90 per cent of the population by 2025 is also in line with government expectations in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2010-2030.
Interested users can pre-order for $99 (₦37,670). The full Starlink kit — a mounting tripod, WiFi router, and a terminal — costs $499 (₦190,000).
Users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system.
There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.
Nigerians wait with baited breath for the full commencement of operations.