SpaceX’s Starlink is now live in Nigeria, according to the company.
The Elon Musk-owned firm confirmed as much in a tweet on Monday, stating that Nigeria was the first African country to enjoy its services.
He tweeted: “Starlink is now available in Nigeria, the first African country to receive the service.”
According to the firm, anyone willing to enjoy their service must be willing to shell out N19,260/month and N274,098 for hardware.
It read: “Starlink is currently available in your area. Customers in your region typically see download speeds of 50-200 Mbps. No contracts, 30-day trial. Shipping times are currently estimated at 1-2 weeks from order. N19,260/month for service and N274,098 for hardware”.
Nigeria is the 47th country in the world to obtain Internet services from Starlink.
Starlink seeks to offer a global broadband network, using a Low Earth Orbit constellation to provide high-speed Internet coverage with the ability to penetrate geographically isolated and rural areas.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, broadband penetration reached 47.36% in December 2022. Nigeria expects to increase its broadband penetration to 50% in 2023 and 90% in 2025.
The ‘Nigeria National Broadband Plan: 2020-2025’ reads in part: “The new Broadband Plan is designed to deliver data download speeds in Nigeria of a minimum of 25 Mbps in urban areas and 10 Mbps in areas rural, with effective coverage available to at least 90 percent of the population by 2025 at a price no higher than N390 per 1 GB of data (i.e. 2 percent of median income or 1 percent of minimum wage) .
Recently, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, stated that the country had reached 100 percent broadband coverage after the license and operation of Starlink.
He said: “Under the National Broadband Plan, we were supposed to have 90% broadband coverage by December 2025. However, we recently licensed Starlink to provide services, and this has given us 100% coverage, about 3 years later. Of schedule.”
While Starlink has now started operating in Nigeria, there are concerns about how its high price will hinder citizens’ ability to access its services.