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South Sudan inks satellite internet deal with Elon Musk’s Starlink

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Thursday, June 27, 2024

NCA and SpaceX officials pose for a picture after meeting in Juba. June 26, 2024. (Photo: NCA)

The National Communication Authority (NCA) signed an agreement on Wednesday with Elon Musk’s SpaceX subsidiary firm Starlink Services LLC, for the provision of affordable internet connectivity across South Sudan.

The deal was signed in a visit of senior SpaceX officials including Ryan D. Goodnight, SpaceX’s Senior Director for Global Licensing & Market Activation, and Benjamin MacWilliams, the Director of Starlink Global Licensing & Activation.

The businessmen jetted to Juba for the significant multi-stakeholder’ engagement, where they also held meetings with the South Sudan Revenue Authority and the Customs division.

“The meeting addressed crucial issues related to licensing Starlink service in South Sudan as well as Starlink terminal smuggling, highlighting the country’s growing need for connectivity,” NCA announced in a press statement.

“After a two-year negotiation, we are thrilled to announce the signing of a Satellite Landing Rights License and a Provisional Service License for Starlink services in South Sudan.”

The satellite internet venture aims to bring internet access to people around the world currently living without access to high-speed internet.

NCA said the agreements, which also officially licensed Starlink, aim to provide affordable and accessible broadband connectivity, especially to remote areas, promoting rural connectivity.

It was also stated that Starlink South Sudan will soon publish details of its products and their associated prices as well as their distribution agent that will be responsible for the distribution of terminals.

The communication agency said there will be penalties for smuggling unlicensed terminals into the country.

“The conclusion of licensing Starlink and collaboration among government agencies marks a significant step forward in our mission to bridge the digital divide and Connecting South Sudan.”

In January 2024, NCA warned the public against the importation and use of Starlink service in the country.

The communication regulator said it observed “with concerns” the illegal importation and sale of the satellite internet constellation’s broadband equipment in the country while the company was not licensed.

 

 

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