Elon Musk’s Starlink will serve as catalyst for rural economy, analysts say

The entry of Elon Musk’s Starlink into the Nigerian broadband market is expected to open up the rural economy, after several attempts by existing internet service providers (ISPs) to deepen unserved areas.

Unserved areas are rural and semi-urban communities that do not have access to broadband service. And some of the ISPs have been forced over the years to exploit this terrain.

According to a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), the rural-urban divide in mobile internet usage in Nigeria has steadily narrowed from 53% in 2018 to 39% in 2020. About 61% of rural Nigerians are offline , compared to 40% in urban areas.

Starlink will provide satellite internet access coverage to rural areas of Nigeria after receiving two licenses – an international gateway license and an internet service provider (ISP) from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) last week.

According to NCC, the international gateway license has a duration of 10 years, while the ISP license must last for five years. Both licenses are effective from May 2022 and can be renewed after expiration.

The rural economy in Nigeria is mainly driven by agriculture and fisheries will exponentially implode in terms of growth and production if Nigerians start taking advantage of the service.

Analysts say the project has crept up over the years and expect Starlink to add more speed to the aspiration to roll out satellite internet, which is part of what broadband penetration is meant to be. TO DO.

Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe Founder & President of Famiscro Group said in a memo obtained by TechEconomy on Monday that Beeptool, a satellite and internet whitespace TV worked with Starlink on the master license.

“​We believe that an improvement in network quality, not necessarily cost, will change the upper tier market.”​

“We’ve been using the SpaceX Starlink system in Nigeria for months, and the thing is working,” Ekekwe said.

“We bought it from the United States and deployed it to a farm in Nigeria, to help us with our farming business.”

Cost implications

Just like satellite TV, satellite broadband is another way to have internet in your home. It is broadcast from space to a satellite dish installed on the property. It is then connected to a Wi-Fi router, just like normal broadband

For a complete kit that will include a terminal, mounting tripod and Wi-Fi router, it will cost $599 (₦330,000), then $110 (₦60,500) for pre-order and monthly subscription. Its premium service costs around $2,500 (₦1.375 million) for the full kit and $500 (₦275,000) per month.

In other words, standard Starlink service costs offer speeds of up to 250 Mbps, but are closer to 100 Mbps for most users. ​Next, the ​Starlink Premium has a maximum throughput of 500 Mbps.

​”​The potentials of the satellite-driven rural economy are immense. But I think the focus should be on affordability of internet access rather than accessibility, a major internet service reseller who prefers to remain anonymous told TechEconomy.

He said some schools in urban cities cannot afford the plethora of internet facilities on offer, let alone rural areas.

TechEconomy figured out that Starlink promises the same 20-50ms network latency. ​By implication, ​no user will connect to anything different from the Starlink side​​. This is this new dish with a doubled surface.​ ​

“The advantage with Starlink is the fact that the route or infrastructure is available now,” said Nayebare Micheal Engineering Consultant at Fieldcloud SAS.

“It depends on the size of your vehicle. It is not worth it for a company to invest where there is no return because the technology is beautiful and trendy.

He said rural people will benefit from goodwill, funding or the creation of community-based neutral welcoming networks through the aggregation of resources to avoid the high cost of service.


As Starlink arrives, some startups in the satellite space will begin to move into the Nigerian rural business space, Ekekwe said. “Rural education. Rural agriculture. Rural health. rural economy.

He said if the network is reliable in Dutse, why do you need to be in Abuja to create this software which will be distributed via the Internet? “If you can connect this Ovim school to a reliable internet, the London aunt can teach children to be numeracy after school. Expect more opportunities.

As new developments start to unfold, Nigerians will be able to rethink what it means to live in a city, once access to certain public services is democratized with internet access being in the lead of list.

“The benefits are immense, but what businesses can help you earn an extra $500 with Starlink services or have issues that cost them more than $500 that Starlink service can alleviate,” Michael asked.

‘At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if these businesses are in cities or towns, the fundamentals of the business will remain. Like any other technology, it will serve already mature sectors of the African economy, for example mining and logistics.

According to Michael, if it is agriculture, it will serve some of the processing or manufacturing and large commercial farmers and certainly the wealthy for residential purposes.

About Keneth T. Graves

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