SpaceX, an American private space exploration company founded by Tech billionaire, Elon Musk, is seeking necessary licenses to bring Starlink, its internet service into Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Ryan Goodnight, SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, in a meeting with Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, in Abuja.
According to Goodnight, Nigeria has been identified as a critical market in Africa. Before the face-to-face meeting happened last week, SpaceX had been discussing with the NCC virtually over the past several months.
Danbatta, who was represented by Ubale Maska, executive commissioner of technical services, said the agency will work on necessary modalities to ensure that it balances the need for healthy competition with regard to 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,” he told the SpaceX delegation.
“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 licenses.”
He noted that the commission is interested in making necessary regulatory efforts to drive the coverage of rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country through the accomplishments of the lofty targets contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.
Starlink is said to be ideally suited for areas where connectivity has typically been been unreliable or completely unavailable.