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FG says Starlink to roll out service in Nigeria before end of 2022 

The Federal Government said that Elon Musk’s satellite company, Space X, will be rolling out Starlink Internet Service before the end of this year. This is even as the Nigerian government entered into a partnership with Space X for the delivery of broadband service across Nigeria. 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, disclosed this at the US-Space Forum held alongside the just concluded US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington.  

Going by the Minister’s declaration, Starlink’s rollout will be coming seven months after the company was issued Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). 

Administrative delay: Recall that Space X had promised to roll out its satellite broadband service in Q3 2022 to cover all of Nigeria but shifted it to Q4, citing regulatory issues. Pantami confirmed this by saying:  

  • “The nationwide rollout shall take place before the end of 2022, after the conclusion of a few administrative processes.” 

Partnership with Space X: Announcing the partnership with Space X, Pantami said the Nigerian government has approved the company’s application as a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Operator in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector. He said: 

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  • “As part of the partnership, Space X is to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria, enabling nationwide access to broadband connectivity way ahead of the December 2025 schedule, as outlined in our National Broadband Plan. With this collaboration with SpaceX’s Starlink, Nigeria is set to be the 1st African country to introduce the service.” 

Artemis Accords signed: Meanwhile, the Minister at the US-Africa Leaders’ Forum on behalf of Nigeria signed Artemis Accords to signal Nigeria’s participation in the next phase of space exploration to be coordinated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Nigeria and Rwanda were the first two African countries to sign the Accord and the 22nd and 23rd in the world. 

Commenting on the Accords signing, NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson, said: 

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  • “I’m thrilled Nigeria and Rwanda are committing to the safe, sustainable use of outer space. In an era where more nations than ever have space programs, today’s signings highlight a growing commitment to ensuring space exploration is conducted responsibly.”  
  • “As the first African nations to sign the Artemis Accords, Nigeria and Rwanda exemplify the global reach of the accords and are demonstrating their leadership in space exploration.”

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