Nigeria Becomes First Country In Africa To Use Elon Musk’s Starlink

Starlink is the satellite internet constellation owned by SpaceX, which Elon Musk founded with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. Starlink was launched in 2019 and has since provided satellite internet access coverage to about 46 countries. Nigeria has recently become the first African country to receive Starlink services.

According to the official Twitter page of SpaceX, internet services are now accessible from any part of Nigeria, offering a solution to the internet connectivity gap that affects rural communities in the country. However, analysts predict that the high cost of Starlink may prevent many Nigerians from accessing the service. The cost of the starter kit is $600, and the monthly subscription fee is $43. In Nigeria, the hardware would be available for N274,098, while the subscription would be at a price of N19,260.

Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, recently announced that the country had achieved 100% broadband coverage with the help of Starlink, which was able to provide services ahead of schedule. This is a major milestone for the country, which had aimed to have 90% broadband coverage by 2025 but was able to reach 100% with the help of Starlink.

Starlink’s service in Nigeria offers users a 30-day free trial, and the company has stated that customers in the region typically experience download speeds of 50-200 Mbps. The service is expected to compete with other broadband providers in the country such as MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9mobile, Smile, Spectranet, and Swift.

Starlink is unique in that it offers high-speed, low-latency internet services via its world’s largest constellation of highly advanced satellites operating in a low orbit around the Earth. This makes it possible for users to engage in activities that have historically not been possible with satellite internet.

In 2021, TheCable reported that SpaceX had been in talks with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to secure the licenses needed to launch Starlink in Nigeria. One year later, Elon Musk announced that Starlink had been approved for deployment in the country. The federal government held meetings with the management of the company to introduce its services in Nigeria, and after the wait, SpaceX has finally confirmed the availability of the Starlink network in the country.

Overall, the availability of Starlink in Nigeria represents a major step forward for the country, providing high-speed internet access to those who previously lacked it, and offering a solution to the connectivity gap in rural communities. It remains to be seen how Starlink will perform in the Nigerian market, but for now, tech startups and internet users in the country can breathe a sigh of relief.

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