Starlink, the satellite-based internet service from SpaceX, has an active presence on the continent of Africa, with the company announcing yesterday that Starlink is now available in Nigeria.
SpaceX tweeted the news yesterday, announcing that the Starlink connection to Nigeria was up and running. According to Starlink’s service map, some countries in Africa, such as Zambia, Tanzania, and Morocco, are slated to receive service by the end of this year, while others, like Ghana and Namibia, won’t receive Starlink until 2024.
“We have done it again. [SpaceX] thank you for hosting me in your Headquarters, USA in December, 2022 to complete the logistics for the deployment,” tweeted Isa Ali Pantami, the Nigerian minister of communications and digital economy.
Starlink’s presence in Africa means that SpaceX now has a live connection to every continent on Earth, despite the company announcing that achievement last year. “Starlink is now on all seven continents!” the company tweeted on September 14, 2022.
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It would appear that SpaceX celebrated a little too early, as the company only had approvals to connect Nigeria and Mozambique to Starlink at that time, with service expected to go live in those countries between July and September 2022. Licensing to connect Malawi would come in November. As for operational Starlink connectivity in those African nations, that clearly didn’t happen in 2022. As SpaceX tweeted on Monday, “Starlink is now available in Nigeria—the first African country to receive service!”
SpaceX did not immediately respond to our request for comment. Regardless, Starlink is now available in 46 countries and 56 markets around the world, as SpaceX announced during the broadcast of today’s Falcon 9 Starlink launch.
The announcement comes after SpaceX began successfully providing service to McMurdo Station, a scientific research outpost in Antarctica, this September. Earlier this month, Starlink also began connecting remote field camps in Antarctica. These connections were made using an optical laser network that connects Starlink satellites. The lasers relay data between satellites in the Starlink constellation, as opposed to having them communicate with stations on the ground, which has connected remote parts of Canada, Australia, and Antarctica to Starlink.
SpaceX is continuing its work of launching a full-fledged Starlink constellation, with 49 satellites being deployed today. Over 3,700 Starlink satellites are currently working in low Earth orbit, with SpaceX planning to launch a total of 29,988 of its next-gen Starlink satellites.
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