Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been granted a license to launch its high-speed internet service, Starlink in Rwanda. This was contained in a recent announcement issued by the CEO of Rwanda Space Agency, Francis Ngabo.
Ngabo who issued the license described the development as a new milestone in the country’s journey to leverage space capabilities for national progress. He also hinted that the planned Starlink launch comes in line with the nation’s goal of achieving universal broadband network coverage.
The CEO also noted that the new development would immensely contribute to international connectivity redundancy and near-universal broadband coverage. He added that the partnership will utilise space capabilities for national development.
He expressed confidence in Starlink’s potential to positively impact citizens and businesses, and enhance the country’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.
Also, Starlink will provide high-speed internet connectivity to 500 schools in Rwanda. This was disclosed by Rwanda’s Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire. Ingabire revealed that the pilot project which will begin on February 22 will involve 500 schools.
Musk’s Starlink to increase connectivity in Rwanda’s schools
The Rwandan Minister of ICT and Innovation hinted that the initiative will support the government’s plan to connect 3,000 schools to the internet by 2024. It will also bridge the digital divide and increase broadband competitiveness.
Led by the world’s second richest person, the spacecraft manufacturer and satellite communications company exploits the momentum of its current launch in Nigeria, Africa’s largest market.
The operation of Starlink in Africa
Starlink’s satellite internet service consists of a network of low-earth orbit satellites that deliver high-speed broadband internet access to users anywhere in the world. The service is designed to be faster and more reliable than traditional satellite internet, with lower latency and higher bandwidth.
Elon Musk first launched Starlink in Africa in 2022. At the launch, Musk noted that the satellite internet provider will operate in any legal location on Earth. In May 2022, it received a license to operate in Nigeria.
Rwanda, like many other countries in Africa, has a relatively low level of internet penetration. According to the International Telecommunication Union, only around 23% of the population in Rwanda had internet access as of 2020. This makes the country a prime market for Starlink’s satellite internet service.
SpaceX also plans to launch its satellite Internet service in Tanzania in the first quarter of 2023. The service will be available in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania, and four other cities across the country.
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