Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovations, and Digital Economy, has reached out to Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, to develop a maintenance program for Starlink, a satellite internet service in Nigeria. The request was made by Tijani on his verified X (formerly Twitter) account over the weekend.
In 2021, SpaceX approached the Nigerian government to obtain the necessary licenses for launching Starlink in the country. A year later, Musk hinted at introducing the satellite internet service in Africa in a response to a question on his X account.
In May 2022, Musk, who is also the founder of Tesla Inc., announced that Starlink had received approval in Nigeria. Tijani emphasized the importance of providing certified installers for Starlink devices and supporting local hardware startups in producing repeater boxes, stating that these measures would generate numerous job opportunities in the country.
During a conversation with Ryan Goodnight, the Senior Director of Global Licensing and Activation at SpaceX, Tijani discovered that Nigeria is the biggest market for Starlink in Africa. Tijani also discussed the issue of connecting unserved and underserved Nigerians with Starlink’s growing demand and suggested the creation of a certified installer/maintenance program for Starlink. He also proposed collaborating with local hardware startups to locally produce repeater boxes, with the goal of encouraging more tech companies to invest and develop the Nigerian tech ecosystem.
Starlink was launched as a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites designed to offer high-bandwidth, low-latency internet access to users around the world. Low latency refers to minimal delay times in network connections, while bandwidth refers to the capacity of an internet connection to handle information at any given time. Starlink operates by transmitting data through space, where it can travel faster than through traditional fiber-optic cables.