More Africa NewsNigeria: NCC negotiates with Starlink to reduce the costs of its services in the country

June 28, 2023by myles0

The NCC is confident that Starlink can help accelerate the adoption of broadband internet connectivity in Nigeria. However, the adoption of the services of the American company in the country could be slowed down by the costs which are beyond the reach of the average Nigerian. 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is currently engaged in advanced negotiations with satellite internet service provider Starlink to reduce the cost of its services to make them accessible to the entire population. This was revealed by Umar Danbatta (pictured), executive vice president of the regulator, on the sidelines of the Industry Consumer Consultative Forum (ICAF) held last week in Lagos.

It was on January 30 that Starlink finally launched its commercial services in Nigeria about seven months after acquiring the operating licenses from the NCC. According to the company’s site, the services cost 38,000 Naira (about $50) per month with a one-time hardware cost of 378,000 Naira and a delivery charge of 16,700 Naira. Costs that are beyond the reach of the average Nigerian, especially if they live in rural areas.

The negotiations to reduce the cost of Starlink’s services are part of the NCC’s actions to accelerate the adoption of telecommunications services in Nigeria and the achievement of the government’s digital transformation ambitions. The regulator wants to boost broadband penetration to 90% by 2025, and well beyond 50% by the end of 2023, in line with Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025). It recently awarded operating licenses to 25 mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).

“  We are still studying the price of the Starlink terminal so that all Nigerians can avail this service. It’s faster than 5G and I think the business world covers the whole country. This is an important measure that we have put in place to meet the challenge of the access deficit which is around 97% today. We have not been shy about deploying fixed and wireless infrastructure, especially in rural and underserved areas of the country, to bridge the access gap,”  Mr. Danbatta said.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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