Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Friday that regulators in Nigeria and Mozambique had approved Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite broadband service.
This announcement comes three days after Musk responded to a tweet regarding the service’s debut in Africa.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), according to Nairametrics, has also confirmed this news. This licensing comes after the company’s team visited Nigeria in May of last year to discuss the possibilities of securing a license.
Starlink now has over 400,000 subscribers worldwide and operates in 36 countries where it is legally permitted to provide internet services.
Starlink joins a Nigerian Internet service provider market dominated by telcos such as MTN and Airtel, as well as smaller ISPs like Spectranet, SMILE, and others. These companies offer the same service for a much cheaper price, though at a varying quality of service, which they aren’t forced to improve due to the consolidated nature of the market and little competition from upstarts.
However, Starlink’s price is too expensive for ordinary Nigerian and Mozambican users. The service costs start at $110 (~₦60,500) for preorder—also its monthly charge—and $599 (~₦330,000) for a full kit, which includes a terminal, mounting tripod, and Wi-Fi router. For premium service, the whole kit will cost around $2,500 (~₦1.375 million) and $500 (~₦275,000) per month.
The above plans will be competing against similar internet plans in Nigeria, which cost an average of $50.
Though expensive, one can however agree that Starlink provides internet users in these African countries with an alternative product offering.