SpaceX’s Starlink Goes Live In Nigeria, Its First Time In Africa


The Earth is vast.

While many of its terrains are already occupied by human civilizations, but when it comes to internet connectivity, the same thing does not apply.

In some places, even when internet is available, connectivity is not yet stable. And in some other places, internet connection can be spotty.

The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, SpaceX, the American spacecraft manufacturer, launcher, and a satellite communications corporation headquartered in California, is trying to change that.

Using its satellite internet constellation, Starlink, the company that is led by Elon Musk, wants to make internet connection available, even for those who live in remote places.

And for the first time in Africa, Starlink goes live starting in Nigeria.

SpaceX announced that Nigeria becomes first African nation to receive its Starlink service, in a tweet:

"Starlink is now available in Nigeria – the first African country to receive service!"

Here, Nigeria becomes the 47th country in the world to get Starlink internet services.

Bello Gbadebo, a developer and startup founder, shared photos of his Starlink
Bello Gbadebo, a developer and startup founder, lives in the city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, shared photos of his Starlink.

Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, hinted that the country achieved a 100% broadband coverage following the licensing and operation of SpaceX’s Starlink.

"Based on the National Broadband Plan, we were to have 90% broadband coverage by December 2025. However, we recently gave a license to Starlink to provide services and this has given us 100% coverage, about 3 years ahead of schedule," the minister said.

Confirming the development, Pantami, who described this as a milestone, thanked SpaceX.

"We have made it again. @SpaceX thank you for hosting me in your headquarters, United States in December 2022 to complete the logistics for the deployment," he tweeted.

SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and Twitter, among others, aims to reduce space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars.

But besides that, the company also provides Starlink, which seeks to deliver a global broadband network.

This is done through a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites to provide high-speed internet coverage with the capacity to penetrate rural and geographically isolated areas.

According to local news publications in Nigeria, SpaceX considers Nigeria as a critical market, and the launch of Starlink in the country is a result of talks between the company and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which was initiated back in 2021.

At that time, SpaceX sent some representatives to meet the representatives of NCC, to discuss the possibility of obtaining a license to operate Starlink in Nigeria.

Then, in March 2022, Elon Musk announced that Starlink has been "approved by Nigeria and Mozambique."

Following this, it was then revealed that the license is provided to Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd., obtained under the Internet Service Provider (ISP) category

While Starlink’s internet services can be accessible from any part of Nigeria, providing connectivity to those living in regions where no network operator have deployed their services, many concerned the relatively high cost of Starlink.

To anticipate this, on its website, the company said customers in Nigeria can get its services at a lower rate with a 30-day free trial.