Elon Musk’s Starlink’s entry into the Nigerian telecoms sector is expected to spark a fresh wave of competition among the country’s telecommunications service providers.
Customers who are now subscribed to internet service from MTN, Globacom, Airtel, 9mobile, and over 200 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) previously licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission would have to compete with the new entrant (NCC).
Starlink secured two licenses from the NCC, including an International Gateway licence and an Internet Service Provider license.
With the ISP licence, Starlink will compete with Nigeria’s main ISPs, including Spectranet, FibreOne, Tizeti, and iPNX, as well as mobile network operators, who now account for the majority of internet users in the country.
Although Starlink will have an advantage over other service providers in that it will supply its service via satellite, which can be accessible from everywhere in the country, the company’s sustainability will be determined by its price competitiveness.
Why it matters
- As a result of the fierce rivalry in the industry, operators are frequently forced to slash their prices in order to compete for clients. If Starlink is willing to compete on pricing, this will be a huge gain for Nigerian internet users.
- Nigeria will be able to narrow its access deficit with Starlink satellite service, particularly in remote areas that present operators do not reach. Starlink is a low-latency broadband internet solution designed to satisfy the demands of users in remote locations throughout the world with low internet penetration.
- In terms of speed, Starlink claims to be able to supply 150Mbps internet to any location on the earth. This will put pressure on other providers in the country to update their broadband services in order to compete on speed.
What you should know
- Starlink can build, own, operate, maintain, and use an International Gateway for the provision and operation of international access and gateway services in Nigeria with the International Gateway license.
- This means the corporation can offer services such as global mobile personal communication via satellite, mobile radio services, VSAT services, internet node services, and backbone services.
- Starlink will compete in this category against Globacom, Prest Cable & Satellite TV Systems Ltd, IMBIL Telecom Solutions Nig Ltd, and Green Foot Global Resources Ltd., all of whom have the same Nigerian license.