In January 2021, the NCC licenced SpaceX to beam Starlink satellites signals to Nigeria, as well as a landing permit for up to 4,408 satellites. Per recent reports, it plans to secure a licence to fully launch its Internet service in Nigeria by late 2021

US-based Space exploration company, SpaceX has said it is working with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to secure the required licences to launch Starlink, its satellite Internet service, in Nigeria.
Per Nairametrics, Ryan Goodnight, SpaceXs Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, disclosed this in a meeting with NCCs Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC). Umar Danbatta on Friday in Abuja.
Apparently, SpaceX had been in many virtual discussions with the NCC for several months, and both parties finally agreed on a face-to-face meeting to discuss the projects prospects in Nigeria.
The NCC states that its decision on SpaceXs proposal will be made in line with its regulatory duties to ensure healthy competition among telecom companies in Nigeria.
Its been the works
SpaceX satellites orbiting Nigeria. Source:
Founded by Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX develops 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.
A March 2021 Space in Africa report revealed that the company already planned a late 2021 and 2022 launch, first in Nigeria, and then the rest of Africa.
The Starlink service has already begun a pre-order programme which takes about six months to fulfil. You can pre-order for $99 (37,670). The full Starlink kit — a mounting tripod, WiFi router, and a terminal — costs $499 (190,000).
We went searching and, it appears that in January 2021 the NCC granted SpaceX permission to “beam their signals till November 2026 over Nigerian territory.”
At the time of granting the licence, SpaceX had launched 893 satellites and, per the NCC, 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.
As of press time, we found three Starlink satellites — 46135, 46078, and 44282 — orbiting Nigeria, and a closer look reveals several others also orbit Nigeria and other African countries at different times of the day. Given the NCCs statement, its safe to say that nearly all Starlink satellites can beam their signals to Nigeria.
Looking forward
While Starlink would bring widespread connectivity to unserved and underserved areas, its current cost seems prohibitive. The 37,670 is above minimum wage for the average Nigerian user, but it seems cheaper than most dedicated Internet service lines in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government plans to bring in 90% of its population online by 2025, and cost issues aside, Starlinks technology might be one of the ways to achieve this.
Recall that the Nigerian government also partnered with Microsoft to launch its Airban initiative, a technology that uses TV White Spaces to bring Internet connectivity.
On a much larger scale, Facebook has launched 2Africa, a $1 billion undersea Internet cable for faster Internet in Africa.
Techpoint Startup School is coming to Port Harcourt!
Are you building a startup business within Port Harcourt but struggling to get funding, find co-founders, or build your team? Enrol now for Techpoint Startup School holding in Port Harcourt from May 20th – 22nd and learn strategies to position your business for growth and profit. Register here
Flextock raises $3.25m pre-seed | Newsbites