Elon Musk revealed in a tweet on Friday that Starlink, his space exploration company’s satellite internet service, has been licensed in Nigeria and Mozambique.
This announcement comes three days after Musk responded to a tweet regarding the service’s debut in Africa.
“Yes, first African countries to be named soon,” he tweeted. “Everywhere on Earth where we’re legally allowed to service, Starlink will be available.”
It has been in the works since 2021 to launch in Africa, primarily in Nigeria. SpaceX sent representatives to Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in May to discuss the prospect of acquiring a license to operate Starlink in the country.
The NCC has authorized this license, according to Nairametrics reports, confirming Musk’s tweet earlier today.
The license Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd. (its business name) got falls under the Internet Service Provider (ISP) category, which includes telcos and private operators, and will expire for ten years starting in May 2022, according to the publication.
Starlink brings much-needed competition to Nigerian telecom operators such as MTN and Airtel, who have had to compete against each other without improving their internet quality.
There’s one argument against Starlink, though: it’s expensive. At $110 (~₦60,500) for preorder — also its monthly price — and $599 (~₦330,000) for a full kit, including a terminal, mounting tripod, and Wi-Fi router, Starlink’s price is pricey for the average Nigerian — and Mozambique user. Its premium service costs about $2,500 (~₦1.375 million) for the full kit and $500 (~₦275,000) monthly.