I have noted that Elon Musk’s plan to blast the space with satellites would help fix a huge connectivity friction in Africa. Yes, he had noted that he would be coming to help provide internet connectivity to communities around Africa. That promise is now coming to reality as he gets approval to put 7,518 satellites in the space. That number is about 3X of the total capacity at the moment.
Soon, SpaceX will have more satellites circling the earth than anyone else. The FCC just gave Elon Musk’s company permission to launch more than 7,000 satellites (or for fans of specificity, 7,518 satellites) into space. The satellites will fill the night sky as part of the company’s Starlink program, which aims to provide satellite-based broadband internet.
Remember my prediction that by 2022 we would have immersive connectivity in Nigeria. This is going to be part of the equation. As providers like MTN battle satellite providers even as global ICT utilities like Google and Facebook enter the fray, customers would see significant drop in prices even as quality improves.
I expect SpaceX to offer a new level of competition against companies like MTN, Glo and Airtel in Nigeria. Though NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission) would like to regulate the use of satellite connectivity in Nigeria, it could be a tough challenge. While WhatsApp is complementary [you need to pay for data to use WhatsApp with say MTN], satellite is a product displacement threat [you have nothing to do with terrestrial mobile operators]. Companies like MTN would see massive threats in coming years from satellite providers.
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