US-based Space exploration company, SpaceX is in talks with the Nigerian Government to secure the required licences to launch Starlink, its satellite Internet service, in the West Africa country.
SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, Ryan Goodnight who met with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)’s Executive Vice-Chairman, Umar Danbatta on Friday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, said the company has been in many virtual discussions with the NCC for several months before both parties finally agreed on a face-to-face meeting to discuss the project’s prospects in Nigeria.
Danbatta said the NCC’s decision on SpaceX’s proposal will be made in line with its regulatory duties to ensure healthy competition among telecom companies in Nigeria.
Earlier in March, there were reports that the company aimed to launch first in Nigeria by late 2021 and 2022 and then the rest of Africa.
NCC had in January, reportedly granted SpaceX permission to “beam their signals till November 2026 over Nigerian territory” and it is believed that about 893 satellites have been launched by the company.
SpaceX has a Landing Permit for its full constellation of 4,408 satellites. The Landing Permit will be subject to review once all 4,408 satellites have been launched.
Meanwhile, three Starlink satellites; 46135, 46078, and 44282 are orbiting Nigeria and it is believed that several others also orbit Nigeria and other African countries at different times of the day.
SpaceX which was founded by Elon Musk in 2002, developed Starlink, a mega constellation on Satellites to bring commercial Internet services to people across the globe. As of April 2021, SpaceX had launched over 1,400 Starlink satellites.