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Starlink to land in Nigeria

Nigeria is the first major African country to get access to the Starlink satellite internet service, offered by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The company announced in a tweet this week that the service has been launched in the West African nation. “Starlink is now available in Nigeria – the first African country to receive service!”

Starlink has the potential to be revolutionary, offering high-speed, low-latency broadband internet service using its Low Earth Orbit satellite network, it currently provides coverage to 47 countries.

The service offers speeds ranging from 5 to 150Mbps with latency as low as 20ms. This compares to traditional VSAT satellite broadband services that are capable of speeds up to 20Mbps.

Starlink has also announced plans for a global mobile phone service, which is expected to be available in selected countries later this year.

According to the company’s coverage map earlier this week, the Starlink service was previously available in Réunion Island, the French department in the Indian Ocean, which technically forms part of the African continent.

The company’s coverage map indicates that plans are afoot to launch services in Mozambique, Angola, eSwatini, Zambia, Kenya by second quarter of the year, with numerous other countries simply stating ‘2023’.

According to reports in Nigeria’s Vanguard, Isa Pantami, the country’s communications minister had recently stated Nigeria had reached 100% broadband coverage, as a result of licensing Starlink’s services. The issue of licensing, it seems could be part of the delays for many countries, as the satellite operator will need to get the approval of the communications regulator of each country it intends to offer service in.

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