American aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX is set to launch a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites in Nigeria that will provide low latency and high bandwidths Internet to critical markets like Nigeria.
This was indicated during a presentation to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) by a delegation from the space transportations services company in Abuja, yesterday.
SpaceX has been in discussion with NCC virtually over the past several months to begin the process of pursuing all necessary licenses to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services to Nigeria.
Having made substantial progress in the discussion, the Commission granted SpaceX’s request for a face-to-face discussion to gain better insights on the prospects of their proposal.
Led by SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, Ryan Goodnight and supported by the company’s consultant, Levin Born, the company provided an overview of its plans, expectations, licensing requests and deployment phases during the meeting.
Responding, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) stressed that while it welcomes disruption in the technology world, it is keen on balancing healthy competition to ensure sustainable telecoms industry growth and development in Nigeria.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who was represented at the presentation by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, also assured that NCC will work on necessary modalities to ensure that it balances the need for healthy competition vis-a-vis the entry of new technologies, in order to protect all industry stakeholders.
“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the Commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest. We have listened to your presentation and we will review it vis-à-vis our regulatory direction of ensuring an effective and sustainable telecoms ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees,” Maska told the SpaceX delegation.
Section 70 (2) of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, empowers the Commission to regulate the provision and use of all satellite communications services and networks, in whole or in part within Nigeria or on a ship or aircraft registered in Nigeria. This is for the purpose of ensuring a well-developed and organised satellite communications market with the appropriate legal framework that meets international best practices, encourages innovation, promotes competition and guarantees public safety in the rendering of commercial satellite services.