The Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) has announced that it has issued a license to Starlink, satellite internet constellation, to operate in the country. Its operations are set to begin in the first quarter of 2023, The New Times has learnt
Starlink is operated by SpaceX, a spacecraft manufacturing company founded by billionaire Elon Musk.
“Starlink is planning to launch its services in Rwanda in the first quarter of this year, which would make it the second country in Africa to have its services officially operational,” Francis Ngabo, the CEO of RSA told The New Times.
The licensing agreement will allow Starlink to offer internet service to the people of Rwanda through its network of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, delivering higher speed and lower latency broadband internet, compared to traditional satellite communication.
As of December 2022, Starlink had over 3,500 satellites operating in LEO.
Rwanda is the fourth country in Africa to issue a license to Starlink after Mozambique, Nigeria and Malawi.
Prior to licensing, Rwanda was among a few countries given the opportunity to test Starlink connectivity in Africa. In tests conducted at different points of the country, Starlink speed reached up to 150 Mbps with a very low latency of 20 to 40 milliseconds (ms).
According to the RSA, the Starlink technology will significantly boost the capability to improve internet access in remote and rural areas where traditional wireless, cable and fiber-optic infrastructure is often difficult to deploy.
Ngabo said the licence given to Starlink cleared the way for the deployment of satellite broadband internet services in Rwanda.
THE NEW TIMES