Elon Musk is about to start the operation of his Starlink Space X for broadband services and Nigeria’s telecommunications sector is ready for it. This means this year will be very competitive for the network operators.
Recall that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, disclosed that the Nigerian government has approved Starlink’s application. The application was approved as a High Throughput Satellite Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Operator in the country’s telecoms space.
“As part of the partnership, Space X is to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria, enabling nationwide access to broadband connectivity way ahead of the December 2025 schedule, as outlined in National Broadband Plan. With this collaboration with SpaceX’s Starlink, Nigeria is set to be the 1st African country to introduce the service,” he said.
Reaction to the Elon Musk’s Starlink Space X In Nigeria
This announcement raised a lot of fears in the industry. Some argued that with Musk’s financial stability and service quality, Starlink would push some of the current operators out of the market.
“As you know, Mr. Musk wants to leverage satellite technology as against our GSM/microfiber/fiber optic-based network. Satellite is very expensive, but for what Musk wants to use it for, he will need what they call ‘Low orbit stations,’ which will have strong connectivity for voice and data services. No doubt, this will be very competitive to the services we provide,” a Senior Firm Executive said.
“But we are not very worried because to penetrate the market, he will need special terminal devices – mobile phones as presently configured won’t be available to receive signals from the satellite. Only special terminal devices can pick up the signals, you know like DSTV decoders. He added.
While others think it would push operators out of the market, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive officer, of VDT Communications opposed the motion. According to Biodun Omoniyi, Starlink would have a significant competitive effect on the ISP sub-sector of the industry in the area of service quality and pricing.
Nigerians interested in Starlink’s service would have to pay $600 (N438,000) to acquire the setup hardware. In addition, the subscription will cost N31,000. You can also pre-order as it is set to launch this year.
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