Elon Musk has revealed that Starlink, his space exploration company’s satellite internet service, has been licensed to provide internet services in Nigeria and Mozambique.
This announcement comes three days after Musk responded to a tweet about the service’s introduction in Africa.
“Yes, first countries in Africa to be announced coming soon. Starlink will serve everywhere on Earth that we’re legally allowed to serve.” Elon Musk tweeted.
Its arrival in Africa, notably Nigeria, has been planned since 2021. SpaceX personnel visited the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecommunications regulator, in May of last year to examine the prospect of securing a license to operate Starlink in Nigeria.
According to local press reports, Nairametrics, the NCC has accepted this license, confirming Musk’s statement. According to the publication, the license obtained by Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd. falls under the Internet Service Provider (ISP) category — other service providers such as telcos and private operators also fall under this category — and will be valid for a decade beginning in May 2022.
The National Institute of Communications (INCM) of Mozambique stated yesterday that the US-based Internet service provider had been granted a license.
“The granting of this licence will bring enormous benefits to the information and communication technology ecosystem in Mozambique,” a note from the INCM reads.
Musk says that Starlink has great potential to lift people out of poverty.
“Providing Internet is teaching people to fish.” he said in a tweet. “One Starlink can provide Internet for an entire school of hundreds of students.”
Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 32 countries where its use has been licensed. It aims for global coverage. Starlink started launching satellites in 2019.
Starlink is a little bit pricey to obtain though. It will cost $110 for preorder which is also its monthly charge and $599 for a full kit, which includes a terminal, mounting tripod, and Wi-Fi router. Its premium service costs approximately $2,500 for the entire kit and $500 each month.
The company offers high-speed, low-latency satellite internet service with download speeds between 100 megabits per second and 200 Mbps.
In a presentation last week, SpaceX told federal regulators that its Starlink satellite internet service now has over 400,000 subscribers worldwide.