SpaceX has applied for a license to provide Starlink service in Tanzania. If approved Tanzania would become the third country to provide Starlink with a license to operate its satellite internet service in Africa.
According to reports from local media, SpaceX applied last week to the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), which will review the application in the coming weeks.
TCRA Director General Jabiri Bakari confirmed the application had been submitted to his agency, telling The Citizen, “Yes, I am aware that the company had made an application through a portal.”
According to the company’s availability map, SpaceX is planning to launch Starlink in Tanzania in the first quarter of 2023, pending regulatory approval.
The addition of Starlink in Tanzania would help connect those who are unable to access the internet due to a lack of infrastructure for broadband services in many parts of the country.
Economist Abel Kinyondo from the University of Dar es Salaam says Starlink will usher in a new era for Tanzania and help grow the country’s digital economy.
“Internet service is no longer a luxury, but something which it is a basic need. [Starlink’s] high speed and affordability could mean high speed and fast access to information. This service will set a stage for the growth of the digital economy in the country,” he told The Citizen.
If approved, Tanzania will join Nigeria and Mozambique as the only other countries in Africa that have approved and granted a license for SpaceX to offer Starlink.
The service hasn’t launched in either country yet, but the Starlink availability map shows SpaceX is still hoping to begin offering Starlink in Nigeria and Mozambique before the end of the year.