In my model, by 2022, we will begin a new era of immersive connectivity in Africa, anchored on mobile internet. It would not be powered by the current players in the telecom sector. Yes, a new species of companies will emerge to offer internet services with a new basis to customers. Today, Elon Musk tweeted “Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite “, and just like that we are at the beginning of that new era. People, SpaceX’s Starlink is largely here.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk used an internet connection provided by his company’s Starlink constellation of broadband satellites early on Tuesday AM. Musk used the network in place with the Starlink satellites already in orbit to send a simple tweet, declaring that he’d done just that.
Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious project to launch and operate its own network of broadband satellites, which will then provide broadband connectivity on a global level, including to areas that did not previously have reliable access to a high-speed internet connection.
He plans to drop 42,000 satellites into orbits to provide internet connectivity to basically cover the good earth. I expect services like SpaceX Starlink and others from Google and Facebook connectivity efforts to serve Africa massively.
On the current GSM and the broad terrestrial players? They would be here but what GSM did to CDMA in Africa could be returned to it. While most are concerned with the OTT services like Skype and Whatsapp, the biggest challenge ahead for companies like MTN, Glo, and Airtel in Nigeria will be products coming from SpaceX and other satellite providers. We are used to satellites ground stations receiving and converting satellite signals, nothing says that telcos will be the custodians of those solutions, and nothing says also that cheaper phones cannot have the feature in coming years.
No matter how you look into that future – there is disruption coming. And customers will surely enjoy!
I don’t think there is a way MTN and the rest can react to this innovation. I doubt if these companies have the technical capabilities to perform this feat.
The starlink idea is not a new one, this idea was first brought up by Iridium in the early 1990s to provide space based internet service with a global coverage.
Today iridium has a constellation of about 66 satellites, but I guess they were limited by the cost of “one use” rocket launch (bankrupt initially)
SpaceX solved an initial problem that have them a victory in this domain. They first solved the problem of reusable rocket.
With a reusable rocket, you can launch “many” rockets with the same engine.
You can cut cost by 100s.
One space x rocket can launch 66 iridium satellites, but iridium likely used more 30 rockets to launch their constellation.
This innovation paved the way and gave space x the capacity to position thousands of rocket in space at s lower cost.
The dominance of starlink will put America ahead.
Innovative companies make the nation great.
What can we learn from this? If logistics is affecting my e-commerce business, can I solve the problem of logistics first?
When this is done, I can operate with a capacity that competitors cannot match.
If space x delivers as planned, USA will have an edge in this arena just like the Chinese have dominance in 5G.. Great and innovative companies make the nation great