Elon Musk’s Starlink company prospecting in Tanzania’s satellite internet market

(Ecofin Agency) – As demand for high-speed connectivity continues to grow, Starlink continues to expand on the African continent. The company has already obtained the approval of the authorities in Mozambique, Nigeria and Malawi.

The Tanzanian Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has confirmed to the local press that billionaire Elon Musk’s American company Starlink (photo) has applied for a license to provide its satellite internet services in the country. If its application is approved, the company plans to launch its services in the country in the first quarter of 2023.

With Tanzania, Starlink continues its African expansion strategy as part of its parent company SpaceX’s ambition to bring broadband anywhere on the planet, even to the most remote and landlocked areas. This ambition is part of a particular context marked by the acceleration in demand for broadband connectivity on the continent since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company had started negotiations in 2021 with the regulators of certain African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, in order to obtain the necessary authorizations to provide its satellite connectivity services there. It was finally in Mozambique that the company got its first approval on the continent in February 2022. Since then, the company has obtained licenses in Nigeria and Malawi in May and October respectively.

Once the authorizations have been obtained, Starlink will use them to provide high-speed Internet to the people and businesses of Tanzania through its constellation of satellites made up of approximately 3,500 devices in orbit around the Earth. The entry of a new player into the market should help accelerate Internet penetration in Tanzania, particularly in remote areas that are difficult to access for the terrestrial networks of telecom operators. According to the latest statistics from the TCRA, the country has 31.1 million internet users out of a population of around 61.5 million.

Isaac K. Kassouwi

Read also:

25/10/2022 —Malawi allows Elon Musk’s Starlink company to provide internet services

27/07/2022 — Nigeria: Elon Musk’s company Starlink will begin commercial activities in August

05/30/2022 — Nigeria allows Elon Musk’s Starlink company to provide internet services

2/25/2022 — Starlink obtains a license in Mozambique and begins its expansion in Africa

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