Elon Musk tweeted on Friday that Starlink, the satellite-based internet service launched by SpaceX, his space exploration company, has been approved by NCC in Nigeria and Mozambique.
The news came three days after Musk had responded to a tweet about the launch of the service 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.”
Starlink operates in over 30 countries where it is legally authorized, in substance, and where it needs licenses to provide Internet services.
Its launch in Africa, including Nigeria, has been prepared since 2021. In May 2015, SpaceX sent representatives to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecommunications regulator, to discuss the possibility of obtaining a licence to operate Starlink in Nigeria.
Starlink approved by Nigeria 🇳🇬 & Mozambique 🇲🇿https://t.co/Q1VvqVmJ2i
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2022
According to local media, Nairametrics, the NCC has approved this licence, corroborating the Musk tweet today. The release also declared the licence Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd. (its trading name) obtained is under the Internet Service Provider (ISP) category — other service providers such as talks and private operators fall within this category, too — and will last for a decade starting from May 2022.
Starlink provides much-needed competition to Nigerian telecommunications operators such as MTN and Airtel, who have had to compete without improving their Internet quality.
However, there is an argument against Starlink: it is expensive. At $110 (~₦60 500) for preorder, also its monthly price and $599 equivalent of ₦330 000 in Nigeria naira for a full kit, including a terminal, mounting tripod, and special Starlink Wi-Fi router, Starlink’s price is pricey for the average Nigerian — and Mozambique user. Its high-end service costs approximately $2,500 (~ 1.375 million) for the complete package and $500 (~ 275,000) per month.