SpaceX confirms interest in Nigeria market
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has identified Nigeria as a key market for its Starlink satellite service.
This was confirmed by a SpaceX delegation led by Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, Ryan Goodnight, and the company’s consultant Levi Born, who met with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently in Abuja.
The NCC said it is keen on balancing healthy competition with entry of disruptive technologies to ensure sustainable growth in-and development of the country’s telecommunications industry.
“SpaceX has been in discussion with NCC virtually over the past several months to begin the process of pursuing all necessary licenses to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services to Nigeria,” the NCC stated.
NCC’s Executive Commissioner in charge of Technical Services, Ubale Maska said the commission will work on necessary modalities to ensure that it balances the need for healthy competition vis-a-vis the entry of new technologies, in order to protect all industry stakeholders.
He said, “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. We have listened to your presentation and we will review it vis-à-vis our regulatory direction of ensuring an effective and a sustainable telecom ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees.”
For Starlink, NCC is aligning the company’s plans with its goal of driving the coverage of Nigeria’s rural, unserved and underserved areas as contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025. The plan targets 70% broadband penetration; and to cover 90% of the population by 2025.
NCC also has a National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2010-2030.