Boost for Starlink as Ghana gives it the go-ahead

Boost for Starlink as Ghana gives it the go-ahead

Ghana is the latest country to give the go-ahead to SpaceX and its Starlink satellite internet service.

Late last week, according to news agency Ecofin, the National Communications Authority of Ghana (NCA) approved the local subsidiary of Starlink to provide high-speed satellite internet services in the country.

The regulator announced that administrative procedures for the issuance of the operating license are underway and expected to be completed soon.

The Ghanaian communications regulator has been widely quote as saying: “The approval of the application follows the policy approval of the satellite licensing framework in Ghana by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization.” 

A driver for this approval, signalled by Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Ghana’s minister for communications and digitisation, in late March, is likely to have been the widely reported disruption across Africa after multiple subsea cables had been damaged off the coast in West Africa.

It's true that backup solutions helped to limit the disruption (as we discussed in this feature). However, while not as cheap to use, satellite networks do offer a more reliable source of communications. Thus, licensing satellite operators is now part of the measures implemented by the NCA to manage disruption in the future and ensure good service quality to consumers.

It's also true that there has been increasing interest in Starlink services in Ghana. In fact in December 2023, the regulator had to warn against the illegal provision and use of Starlink services.

Starlink will now be able to provide its services directly to consumers through its kit, or lease capacity to operators and internet service providers to fill coverage gaps. It plans to commence commercial operations in Ghana starting from the third quarter of 2024.

Nevertheless as we reported earlier today, the news from Africa isn’t all good as Cameroon, among other countries, maintains a ban on Starlink kit imports.

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