NCC To Review SpaceX Request To Launch Broadband Services In Nigeria

Yemisi Izuora

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it will review the request made by SpaceX to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services to Nigeria.

SpaceX has identified Nigeria as a critical market and  is in the process of launching a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites to provide low latency; high bandwidths Internet to all corners of the globe.

The company has been in discussions with NCC over several months now to begin the process of pursuing all necessary licenses to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services to Nigeria.

NCC has granted SpaceX’s request for a face-to-face discussion to gain better insights on the prospects of their proposal.

After the presentation by SpaceX team, the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, who stood in for the EVC, said 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 effective and a sustainable telecoms ecosystem; where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees,” Maska told the SpaceX delegation.

NCC also intends to make necessary regulatory efforts to drive the coverage of rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country through the accomplishments of the lofty targets contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.

Other Senior Management staff of the Commission, at the briefing include the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu; Director, Licensing and Authorisation, Mohammed Babajika; Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil; as well as Director, New Media and Information Security, Dr. Haru Alhassan; and also Director, Spectrum Administration, Oluwatoyin Asaju, among others.

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