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Starlink to compete with operators in Nigeria and Mozambique

Starlink SpaceX.jpg

Regulators in Nigeria and Mozambique have approved the start of broadband satellite services via Starlink, part of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Regulators in both countries have not formally confirmed their decision, but Musk announced the plan via Twitter.

Starlink’s extension to Nigeria and Mozambique follows an earlier announcement by the Philippines several weeks ago that it would permit Starlink to provide internet services from its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

Musk confirmed this news at the weekend by Twitter: “Starlink approved by The Philippines,” he tweeted.

Reports from Nigeria say that Starlink services will be used to fill 114 gaps in coverage from the country’s mobile operators, which leave 25 million people – about 12% of the population – without service.

The Nigerian government wants to extend broadband availability from 70% of the population now to 90% by 2025, and Starlink is likely to play its part in achieving that target.

According to The Guardian Nigeria – not connected with the UK newspaper – Starlink has six licences, covering different types of satellite service, including the ability to operate as an internet service provider (ISP).

At the same time the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of the Philippines has approved the registration of the local branch of Starlink to be an ISP there.

Gamaliel Cordoba, a member of the NTC, said: “The NTC is steadfast in helping ensure that roll-out of Starlink’s internet access services will be done expeditiously and professionally.”

Bienvenido Marquez, an intellectual property lawyer for Manila firm Quisumbing Torres, acting for SpaceX, said that the NTC granted the licence within 30 minutes of its submitting the application.