Starlink Internet is coming to Malawi. The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) issued a public notice on Friday.
twitter user @King_Emm_ shared a screenshot of the notice that, at its 77th Board Meeting held on 21 October in Blantyre, it awarded its first-ever high-speed, low-latency satellite internet service licenses to Starlink Lilongwe Limited, a owned by SpaceX.
The story of Starlink coming to Malawi actually started at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain where MACRA executives attended and met with Starlink executives.
@Elon Musk elon musk in Africa ? with starlikk pretty sure that in this sector Malawi will change ? pic.twitter.com/dj39MJ25hW
– Sincerely, (@King_Emm_) October 21, 2022
MACRA chief executive Daud Suleman said the licenses were issued after Starlink’s successful application and subsequent negotiations which began in February 2022.
Following the success of Starlink’s application, MACRA issued Starlink with the following three licenses:
- Network Facilities License
- Network Services License
- Application service license
Licenses should be published in the Official newspaper and will then be effective. Suleiman too shared the following statement on Linkedin:
“In February 2022, while attending the World Mobile Congress (WMC) in Barcelona, we had the chance to meet StarLink executives and our team; myself, Andrew Nyirenda and Thokozani Chimbe were invited to a quick meeting .
“This launched an exciting journey which today, October 21, 2022, reached a critical juncture, a network service license issued by MACRA. It has been a challenging and exciting roller coaster.
“Our legacy laws and regulations, based on a 2016 law, are found in the traditional regulatory corner; innovation ahead of the regulatory framework! The delivery and technology used by StarLink is a challenge for any regulator. »
“StarLink Lilongwe LTD, the trading entity in Malawi, had engaged all the necessary local authorities and their application before MACRA was assessed like any other. The next step is to publish the licenses and assign the required spectrum, boooom! »
“Connecting the unconnected in Malawi just jumped on steroids. Buckle up, it’s going to fly fast!”
“Welcome to Malawi, StarLink.”
In May 2021, Malawi’s Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, told Parliament that the the government was putting in place a new initiative to improve connectivity and accelerate the acquisition of information and communication technology (ICT) skills with a focus on young people. Malawi’s Connect a School program would replace one that had been discontinued.
Kazako also highlighted several channels, including the high cost of installation, which Starlink did not have. Kazako noted that Starlink’s installation kit, excluding shipping, was less than the average Internet installation cost for a corporate customer in the country.
Starlink is an opportunity to change the telecommunications sector in favor of the poor and the digitally marginalized, according to The nation. This thought is in line with what Elon Musk has said previously about Starlink.
“Education,” said Elon Musk, “is the pathway out of poverty, and internet access enables education.” Elon Musk said in september. In July, Elon Musk also explained how literacy and internet access were important solutions to solving poverty.
“I think literacy and internet access are fundamentally helpful. Really, we have to think beyond the United States. There are billions of people who have Nope internet connectivity at all-nothing. Or it’s like very low bandwidth and it’s incredibly expensive. This is the case in many parts of the world – billions of people,” said Elon Musk.
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